Gold Ends June with Highest Finish Since 2011; U.S. Mint Bullion Sales Quicken


999.9 Fine Gold Bar

Gold prices ended the first half of 2020 at their highest level since Sept. 21, 2011

Precious metals prices advanced Tuesday, the last trading session in June and the second quarter. Gold was not the biggest winner on the day but it easily led metals for the month. More notably, it topped $1,800 an ounce and posted its best close in nearly 9 years.

Gold for August delivery rose $19.30, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,800.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the highest since Sept. 21, 2011 when gold ended at $1,808.10 an ounce.

“Gold is one of the only major asset classes to have a positive [year-to-date] return,” MarketWatch quoted Jeff Klearman, portfolio manager at GraniteShares, which offers the GraniteShares Gold Trust. “The demand destruction wreaked upon the U.S. and global economies and then the resulting unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus response here and abroad is the primary driving force behind gold performance this year.”

Gold prices scored gains of 2.8% in June, 12.8% for the quarter, and 18.2% through the first half of 2020.

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery surged 57.3 cents, or 3.2%, to close at $18.637 an ounce. The finish was the strongest since June 1 when silver settled at $18.827 an ounce. Silver futures marked increases of 0.8% in June, 31.7% for the quarter, and 4% for the year to date.

In other precious metals futures prices on Tuesday, for the month and quarter:

  • October platinum tacked on $23, or 2.8%, to $851.50 an ounce, falling 2.7% in June but rising 16.6% in the second quarter.

  • Palladium for September delivery added $33.80, or 1.8% to $1,966.90 an ounce, but registered losses of 0.3% in June and 14.7% for the quarter.

The two are divided on the year so far with platinum down 13% and palladium up 3%.

London Precious Metals Prices (LBMA)

London precious metals prices were mixed Tuesday, for June, the quarter and the year to date. In comparing their levels from Monday PM to Tuesday PM:

  • Gold declined $3.50, or 0.2%, to $1,768.10 an ounce.
  • Silver slipped 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $17.845 an ounce.
  • Platinum added $2, or 0.2%, to $814 an ounce.
  • Palladium was unchanged at $1,905 an ounce.

In LBMA results for June, prices advanced 2.3% for gold and 1.4% for silver while they declined 1.3% for platinum and 0.8% for palladium.

For the second quarter prices increased 9.9% for gold, 28.1% for silver, and 12% for platinum while they fell 17.4% for palladium.

For the first half of 2020 prices rose 16.1% for gold while they declined 1.1% for silver, 16.2% for platinum and 0.8% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2020

Sales of United States Mint bullion gold and silver coins quickened in June after weakening for two months in a row. In headline comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins advanced by 44,000 ounces in June, up 282.6% from the 11,500 ounces sold in May and 877.8% higher than the 4,500 ounces sold in June 2019. Year to date, American Gold Eagle sales at 379,000 ounces are 249.3% higher than the 108,500 ounces sold during the first half of last year.

  • American Eagle silver coins climbed by 1,378,000 ounces in June, representing increases of 181.2% from May sales of 490,000 ounces and 33.1% from the 1,035,000 ounces sold in June 2019. American Silver Eagle sales for the year so far at 12,596,500 coins are 25.7% higher than the 10,022,000 coins sold through the same time last year.

  • American Buffalo gold coins rose by 7,500 ounces in June, compared to 2,500 ounces in May, lifting their year-to-date total to 126,000 ounces. In 2019, June sales of the coins hit 3,000 ounces and their total through the first half of 2019 reached 47,500 ounces.

  • American Platinum Eagles last registered gains in April and have year-to-date sales of 56,500 ounces. Last year’s issue finished with sales of 40,000 ounces, and also only had sales through the first four months of 2019.

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)
Tuesday / This Week Last Week April May June 2020 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 2,000 2,000 105,000 5,500 42,500 327,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 6,000 2,000 41,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 12,000 2,000 54,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 0 175,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 3,000 0 28,500 2,500 7,500 126,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 471,000 0 750,000 490,000 1,378,000 12,596,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin* 0 0 1,500 0 0 56,500

 

In terms of 5-ounce silver bullion sales for 2020, the U.S. Mint is working on getting them automated and reported. Initial U.S. Mint-provided figures have the first two 2020-dated pieces at 45,000 produced and sold per issue. These amounts are being verified.





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