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Funds News

UPDATE 1-US Mint halts some American Eagle coin production

 (Adds details, background, gold price)
 NEW YORK, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Unprecedented demand for
precious metals and volatile markets forced the U.S. Mint to
cease production for the half-ounce and quarter-ounce popular
American Eagle gold coins for the rest of this year and to
supply other bullion coins on an allocation basis.
 "Due to the extreme fluctuating market conditions for 2008,
as well as current market conditions, gold and silver demand is
unprecedented and the demand for platinum is unusually high,"
the U.S. Mint said Monday in a memorandum to its authorized
coin dealers.
 "The U.S. Mint has worked diligently to attempt to meet
demand, however, blank supplies are very limited and it is
necessary for the U.S. Mint to focus remaining bullion
production primarily on American Eagle Gold one-ounce and
Silver one-ounce coins," the Mint said.
 The Mint said it would continue to supply one-ounce
American Eagle gold coins and one-ounce American Eagle silver
coins on an allocation basis to coin dealers.
 For half-ounce and quarter-ounce American Eagles, the Mint
said that inventory was depleted last week and no more coins
would be produced for the rest of 2008.
 In addition, the Mint said it would produce 1-10th ounce
Eagles based on current coin blank supplies, but would cease
production for the rest of this year once the remaining
inventory was depleted.
 Produced from gold mined in the United States, the 22-karat
American Eagles have been novel items among collectors and
investors since their introduction in 1986. Each coin has a
face value of $50 but it is sold by authorized dealers at a
premium to the price of gold.
 AMERICAN BUFFALO, AMERICAN EAGLE PLATINUM
 The Mint said it would continue to supply 24-karat American
Buffalo one-ounce gold coins based on current blank supplies,
but would halt production once the remaining inventory was
out.
 The Mint had suspended sales of the Buffalos in late
September due to strong demand and inventory depletion.
 Similarly, the Mint said that all denominations for
American Eagle platinum bullion coins were depleted last week,
and it would halt production for the rest of the year once the
remaining inventory was depleted.
 Coin dealers from the United States to Canada have recently
reported a surge in buying of bullion coins.
 Gold has soared as much as $200 in the last 30 days as
panic investors flocked to gold as a worsening global financial
crisis prompted people to seek a safe haven.
 Spot gold XAU= traded at about $884 an ounce on Tuesday,
while the gold contract for December delivery GCZ8 on the
COMEX division of the New York Stock Exchange was at $886 an
ounce.
 (Reporting by Frank Tang; editing by Jim Marshall)


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