April 2, 2018 / 3:15 PM / 8 months ago

Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle gold, silver coins fall in March

    By Renita D. Young
    April 2 (Reuters) - Sales in March of U.S. Mint American
Eagle gold fell to their lowest for the month, and silver coins
dropped to their lowest in 11 years, government data showed.
    Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle gold coins fell to their
slowest March sales ever, according to records dating back to
2007, while silver coin sales for March fell to their lowest in
11 years, government data showed.
    Sales of American Eagle gold coins totaled 3,500 ounces in
March, down 36.3 percent from  5,500 coins in the previous
month, according to U.S. Mint data released on March 30. Gold
coin sales plummeted 83.3 percent from the year prior, when
21,000 ounces were sold.
    However, American Eagle gold coin sales were down 4.3
percent from the fourth quarter of 2017, when 70,500 coins were
sold. Yet sales slid 42 percent from the first quarter of 2017,
when 116,000 coins were sold.
    During March, spot gold        prices traded within a tight
range of $1,300-$1,360 per ounce as investors looked to other
assets, though equities remained volatile.
    In addition to nearly no interest from the growing group of
millennial investors, "recent market volatility has also
dampened coin investors' interest as markets went up as
escalators and came down like elevators and cash conservations
ensued," said George Gero, managing director of RBC Wealth
Management in New York.
    Cryptocurrencies also distracted from gold buying last
month, said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global
Investors in San Antonio. "That seems to be taking the
incremental gold buyer away." 
    The U.S. Mint sold 915,000 ounces of American Eagle silver
coins in March, the data showed, down 2.9 percent from 942,500
ounces in the month before. Silver coin sales were 43.3 percent
lower than the year prior, when 1.6 million ounces were sold,
according to the data.  
    March American Eagle silver coin sales dropped 36 percent
from the first quarter of 2017, when close to 8 million ounces
were sold. However, silver coin sales during the first quarter
of the year more than doubled from the same period in 2017, when
2.2 million coins were sold. 
    February sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle gold coins were
the slowest for the month in 11 years, while February silver
coin sales were the lowest since 2008, according to records
dating back to 2007.

 (Reporting by Renita D. Young
Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
  
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