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American Eagle gold coins soar in value and forces Mint to suspend sales

The US Mint ran out of its smallest American Eagle gold coin after demand surged following the biggest drop in futures in three decades.

Sales of the coins weighing a 10th of an ounce were suspended after demand more than doubled from a year earlier, the Mint has said.

Total sales of American Eagles this month have almost tripled from a month earlier.

Shoppers from India to China and Japan joined consumers in the US and Australia in the rush to buy jewellery and coins after futures slumped 13pc in two days in mid-April.

Indian buyers flocked to stores and banks for ornaments, coins and bars as purchases from the Perth Mint in Australia doubled and retail sales across China tripled.

"This week has been very busy for us," said Michael Kramer, the president of New York-based MTB, a dealer authorised to purchase coins directly from the Mint.

"We do not yet anticipate suspension of heavier coins", he said.

The Mint also sells 22-karat American Eagles of 1 ounce, half an ounce and a quarter of an ounce.

"The 1-ounce gold bullion coins are the most popular," Mint spokesman Michael White said.

A rush by Indian consumers for bracelets and coins is prompting jewellers to offer premiums on imports as traders and banks run out of stockpiles

Jewellers in big cities are paying as much as 800 rupees (€11.32) per 10 grams (0.02 pounds) while retailers in some remote areas are paying about 1,200 rupees per 10 grams as a premium, according to Haresh Soni, chairman of the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.

Volumes of gold products sold jumped 150pc in Hong Kong and Macau during the weekend of April 13 compared with the weekend before.

Japanese consumers are poised to become net buyers of gold for the first time in eight years as the yen's decline and looming inflation drive them to seek refuge in bullion.

Irish Independent