US Mint's Eagle gold coin October sales are highest since January

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The U.S. Mint has sold nearly 60,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins so far in October, its highest monthly sales since January, boosted by heightened geopolitical uncertainty and better interest from Asian and European retail investors.

With only four business days left until the end of October, sales of American Eagle bullion gold coins made for investors were 58,500 ounces, surpassing September's 58,000, the latest U.S. Mint data showed on Tuesday.

"(ISIS), Ebola, Putin and Ukraine... There is a litany of these things which have risen in the last year or so which have provided a negative backdrop," said Scott Spitzer, chief operating officer of Manfra Tordella & Brookes, a major coin wholesaler based in New York. "At the same time, it's an opportune time to be in precious metals with interest rates being held low."

Higher Chinese gold import sales and decent demand from the Hindu festival of Diwali, a major gold buying event, highlighted improved Asian interest as gold prices sank to a 15-month low earlier in October, Spitzer said.

Sales to European investors also showed an uptick on bets that a proposal to prohibit the Swiss National Bank from selling any of its gold reserves could spark resurgent interest from central banks.

Seasonal demand also helped lift coin sales, as selling pace usually picks up after the quieter summer months. On a year-on-year basis, U.S. gold coin sales in October are up 21 per cent from 48,500 ounces in October 2013.

Turning to silver, investors have bought 4.12 million ounces of American Eagles silver coins so far this month, versus 4.14 million ounces in September.