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US Mint gold coin sales down 42% on year to 1.8 mt in August

Sales of gold coins by the US Mint totaled 1.8 mt in August, 42% lower than 3.2 mt reported a year earlier, the government agency showed Thursday.

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The figure was up 52% on the month, from 1.2 mt in July, when sales slipped to their lowest for four months.

Total sales for the year continue to outperform. Sales for the first eight months of the year totaled 18.6 mt, up 9.8% from 16.9 mt reported for the same period of 2015.

But following record sales in the first half of the year, which were almost double 2015 total sales for the same period, demand has fallen off in the last three months.

Article Continues below...

Gold prices averaged $1,341/oz in August, according to London Bullion Market Association data, marginally higher than $1,337/oz in July.

Sales of silver coins, meanwhile, continue to slide more dramatically.

Sales of 39.8 mt in August were 74% lower on the year and 7% down on the month, to its lowest monthly total for over two years, US Mint data showed.

Total sales for the year to-date now stand at 898 mt, down 10.5% on the same period of 2015, having outperformed until August.

Silver prices averaged $19.64/oz in August, according to London Bullion Market Association data, 1.5% lower than $19.93/oz in July,

Silver has been falling more rapidly than gold in recent weeks, close to 10% down on the month to around $18.65/oz Thursday, off just over 1% on the week.

Gold is down over 3% on the month to around $1,305/oz Thursday, off 1.4% on the week, to its lowest level since before the UK's Brexit referendum on June 23.

--George King Cassell,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,