By Joe Deaux (Bloomberg)
Sales of gold coins more than doubled in September as futures fell the most since June 2013.
Last month, sales rose to 58,000 ounces, the highest since January, data from the mint’s website showed yesterday. That compared with 25,000 ounces in August and 13,000 ounces a year earlier. In September, gold on the Comex in New York lost 5.9 percent. Prices extended losses today, falling 0.5 percent to $1,205.90 an ounce, trimming this year’s advance to 0.3 percent.
“Due to the price drop, it’s a great opportunity for the individual investor to jump into the gold market,” Scott Carter, the chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Lear Capital, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a strong argument for having physical assets” as a haven, partly because of Europe’s struggling economy, he said.
Gold moved closer to erasing gains this year after climbing as much as 16 percent in March. Yesterday, the price sank to $1,204.30, the lowest since Jan. 2, on bets that U.S. interest rates will increase, boosting the dollar and eroding the appeal of the metal as a hedge against inflation.
In the third quarter, gold fell 8.4 percent after a 10 percent rally in the first half that topped gains for equities and Treasuries. Last week, holdings in global exchange-traded products backed by the metal shrank to the lowest in five years.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jeffrey Currie said last week in an interview that gold risks are “significantly skewed to the downside” as political concerns eased in Ukraine and the Middle East.
In the nine months ended Sept. 30, coin sales dropped 46 percent to 379,000 ounces from 704,000 ounces a year earlier.
Sales of silver coins in September doubled to 4.14 million ounces from August, mint data showed. The gain was the biggest since January and the amount was the highest since March.
Yesterday, silver futures dropped to $16.85, the lowest since March 26, 2010. In September, prices slumped 12 percent, the most since April 2013.
This year, the metal has retreated 13 percent after plunging 36 percent in 2013.
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