Gold Slips in February; U.S. Mint Bullion Sales Up From One Year Ago

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Gold prices shed 0.7% in February

Precious metals ended divided Thursday and in February with gold and silver lower and platinum and palladium higher. Gold’s monthly loss was its first since September.

Gold for April delivery slipped $5.10, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,316.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close was gold’s lowest since Feb. 14.

"Despite a couple geopolitical speed bumps this week, traders and investors worldwide remain in generally upbeat moods and that’s a negative for the safe-haven metals," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a daily note. "Profit taking from the shorter-term futures traders was also featured in both metals today."

Gold futures shed 0.7% in February following a combined 10.8% increase through four consecutive months of gains. The yellow metal is 2.7% higher on the year to date. On Feb. 20, gold closed at $1,347.90 an ounce for its highest settlement since April 19.

Elsewhere, silver for May delivery declined 13.2 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $15.634 an ounce. Silver futures dropped 2.7% in February following two straight months of increases that drove prices up by a combined 13.1%. They are 0.6% higher so far on the year. On Feb. 20, the metal finished at $16.177 an ounce for its strongest settlement since June 29.

In PGM futures on Thursday and for the month:

  • April platinum rose $5.30, or 0.6%, to settle at $875.20 an ounce, for a 6.1% increase in February.

  • Palladium for June delivery tacked on $24.30, or 1.7%, to settle at $1,501.50 an ounce, for a 15.5% monthly advance. On Tuesday, the precious metal logged a record settlement of $1,519.70 an ounce.

Both are sharply higher on the year with gains of 9.3% for platinum and 25.4% for palladium.

London Precious Metals Prices

London precious metals prices finished mostly lower Thursday and split on the month. In comparing their levels from Wednesday PM to Thursday PM:

  • Gold declined $3.70, or 0.3%, to $1,319.15 an ounce.
  • Silver fell 4.5 cents, or 0.3%, to $15.815 an ounce.
  • Platinum rose $3, or 0.3%, to $871 an ounce.
  • Palladium declined $14, or 0.9%, to $1,544 an ounce.

In LBMA results for February, gold and silver registered losses of 0.3% and 1.6% while platinum and palladium posted gains of 6.1% and 11.9%.

US Mint 2019 Bullion Sales

United States Mint sales of American Eagle and Buffalo bullion coins slowed in February, taking an expected break from their quickened pace in January when the newly 2019-dated versions launched. The U.S. Mint’s bullion sales are stronger than a year ago, however. In headline comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins reached 12,500 ounces, dropping 81.1% from the 66,000 ounces sold in January while increasing 127.3% from the 5,500 ounces sold in February 2018. For the year so far, Gold Eagle sales at 78,500 ounces are 22.7% higher than the 64,000 ounces delivered during the first two months of last year.

  • American Eagle silver coins hit 2,157,500 ounces, falling 46.3% from January’s total of 4,017,500 ounces while jumping 128.9% from the 942,500 ounces moved in February of last year. (Note: sales were stunted after Silver Eagles temporarily sold out Feb. 22, 2019.) 2019 Silver Eagle sales at 6,175,000 are 47.8% higher than the 4,177,500 coins sold through the same time in 2017.

  • American Buffalo gold coins reached 6,000, marking a 74.5% drop from January’s 23,500 coins and a 140% increase from the 2,500 coins sold in February 2018. Year to date sales at 29,500 ounces are 11.3% higher than the 26,500 ounces sold during the same two months of a year earlier.

  • American Platinum Eagles advanced in February by 2,400 coins for a year-to-date total of 29,500 coins. Last year’s edition only launched in February and garnered first-month sales of 20,000 coins.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Thursday Last Week This Week January February 2019 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin 0 0 600 27,100 2,400 29,500
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 3,000 1,500 44,500 11,000 55,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 15,000 1,000 16,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 20,000 0 20,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 5,000 0 85,000 10,000 100,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 500 23,500 6,000 29,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 997,500 100,000 4,017,500 2,157,500 6,175,000


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