Kitco/Anna Golubova
Gold and silver coin sales surge in January, U.S. Mint limits sales

Despite the gold price being stuck at the same trading range for the past month, U.S. Mint has reported impressive gold and silver coins sales in January.

A total of 220,500 ounces of the gold American Eagle coins were sold in January 2021. This is 267% higher than the amount sold in January 2020, which equated to just 60,000 ounces. January’s sales also marked the strongest month since April 2013.

In silver, there was a total of 4,775,000 ounces of silver American Eagle coins sold in January of this year compared to 3,846,000 ounces sold in January 2020. This is an increase of 24.15%, which marked the best January silver coins since 2017.

The U.S. Mint has been rationing the sales of its silver coins due to “continued exceptional market demand” and limited supply, Bloomberg quoted the U.S. Mint as saying on Tuesday.

January’s jump in sales coincided with an overwhelming demand coming from retail investors, who were looking to invest in the physical metal. Many precious metals dealers were reporting delays in ordering silver products over the past weekend amid record demand.

The U.S. Mint said on Tuesday that it had trouble meeting demand due to plant capacity issues and rising interest in precious metals in 2020 and through to January 2021.

Total sales of U.S. gold bullion coins were up 258% last year, while the sales of silver coins were up 28%, the U.S. Mint said in a statement. The surging demand is also spilling over into 2021 as well, the Mint added.

For 2021, the U.S. Mint said it has a limited window to produce gold and silver coins because redesigned coins are scheduled to be released in the summer. The Mint also said that it would be limiting the distribution of its gold, silver, and platinum coins to specific dealers because of higher demand and coronavirus-related logistical issues, Reuters reported citing the Mint’s statement.

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CNBC/Noah Higgins-Dunn
Covid cases are falling, but unequal vaccine access threatens global recovery, WHO says

Global Covid-19 cases are on the decline, but the uneven distribution of life-saving vaccines could prolong the global economic recovery and leave developing countries even further behind, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

There were 3.7 million new global coronavirus cases reported during the week ending Jan. 31, a 13% decrease compared with the prior week, according to the WHO’s latest situation report. Covid-19 deaths, which lag new cases by a few weeks, posted a modest 1% decline over the week.

That’s welcome news considering global cases were expected to breach 5.5 million cases a week, but more than 3 million new infections is “still an awful lot of people,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program.

“The rain has eased but the sun’s not out yet,” Ryan said during a live Q&A session at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

Health experts have warned that new, highly infectious variants of the virus first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil could add fuel to already raging outbreaks in countries around the world.

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Bloomberg/Eddie Spence
Goldman Still Prefers Silver Even If Short Squeeze Unattainable

Silver’s manic Monday rally was never going to be enough to squeeze the shorts as those positions are backed by physical stock, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said. Still, silver remains the bank’s preferred precious metal.

Silver surged to an eight-year high as a trading frenzy poured money into exchange-traded funds and cleaned out retail dealers. The metal since has given up most of its gains as investors cash out, but position limits and ample physical supply mean a squeeze of the kind seen on GameStop Corp. shares was always “unattainable,” said Goldman analysts led by Jeffrey Currie.

“While some shorts are speculative and require covering before expiry, most are driven by industrial producers hedging their forward earnings,” the analysts wrote in a note. “When commodity short positions are broadly backed by real physical stock, there will be no subsequent buying and no short squeeze.”

Silver’s decline on Tuesday echoes the crash in other trades popular with Reddit crowds, but Goldman retains its upbeat view on the precious metal. The bank sees prices rising as high as $33 an ounce if U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration pushes aggressively into solar power.

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Fox Business/Talia Kaplan
Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax will weaken the economy and ‘kill jobs,’ Larry Kudlow warns

Larry Kudlow, former top economic adviser to Donald Trump, warned on Wednesday that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax will weaken the economy and “kill jobs.”

“It’s going to mean higher taxes for everybody and it’s going to weaken the economy and going to kill jobs, no question about it,” Kudlow told “Mornings with Maria.”

Warren, D-Mass., plans to reignite calls for a wealth tax targeting the nation’s richest individuals and families.

Warren’s office said the progressive Democrat plans to introduce legislation calling for a wealth tax on fortunes valued at more than $50 million as she joins the Senate Finance Committee in the 117th Congress.

As opposed to taxes levied on income and payrolls, a wealth tax would target the value of accumulated assets owned by rich Americans – or their net worth. The idea, generally, is to combat growing economic inequality, creating a more level playing field among the wealthy and middle classes by adjusting the tax system.

During her campaign for the presidency, Warren introduced a wealth tax known as her “ultra-millionaire tax,” and the pending proposal is expected to follow roughly the same parameters, the senator’s office said.

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