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UPDATE 1-U.S. Mint's H1 sales of American Eagle gold coins weakest since 2007

(Recasts with milestones, H1 figures, market background) NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) - U.S. Mint American Eagle gold coin sales in the first half of 2017 were the lowest for this period in a decade, while sales of silver in the period were the weakest since 2008, government data showed on Friday. U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle gold coins totaled 6,000 ounces in June, down 92 percent from June 2016 and bringing the tally for the first half of the year to 192,500 ounces. Sales of American Eagle silver coins totaled 986,000 ounces in June, down 65 percent from a year ago. This brought sales for the first six months of 2017 to 12.2 million ounces, the weakest for the period since 2008.

Spot gold prices rose around 8 percent in the first

half of the year, in sharp contrast to a 25 percent rally in the same period of 2016 that spurred strong interest in the physical market.

Prices of spot silver were also relatively lackluster

the first half of this year, rising around 4 percent. This compares with a 35 percent surge in the first six months of 2016.

(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson, editing by G Crosse)