Precious metals advanced as a group on Friday, capping robust weekly and April gains. Gold futures prices closed to a new record and rallied 8.1 percent in April. Silver prices settled to a fresh 31-year high, soaring 28.3 percent during the month. Gains in metals were aided by the U.S. dollar which fell Friday to its weakest level in three years.
June gold prices jumped $25.20, or 1.6 percent, to close at $1,556.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold futures traded between $1,532.10 and $1,569.80. Gold rallied 3.5 percent this week and 9.5 percent in 2011.
"The dollar will continue to lose ground for the foreseeable future, so it only makes sense to be invested in precious metals," Matthew Zeman, a strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said and was quoted on Bloomberg.
"Gold is showing a text-book bull market behavior, a steady ascent without major spikes. It’s the continuation of the same theme, as the Fed’s posture seems to be fairly dovish still," James Dailey, portfolio manager of the TEAM Asset Strategy Fund, was quoted on Reuters.
Silver prices for July delivery surged $1.058, or 2.2 percent, to $48.599 an ounce. They ranged from $47.700 to $49.210. Silver prices have risen 5.5 percent this week and 57.1 percent in 2011.
"I’d say the precious metals, in the aftermath of the FOMC meeting and consequent Fed statement, will continue to worry about inflation in the U.S. There are questions if the U.S. central bank is behind the curve. That will likely put pressure on the dollar which will help out gold and silver," Bart Melek, vice president and director, head of commodity strategy, rates and foreign exchange research at TD Securities, said as recounted by Debbie Carlson of Kitco News.
Platinum prices for July delivery advanced $25.60, or 1.4 percent, to $1,865.50 an ounce. Platinum traded between $1,841.00 and $1,882.00. The metal gained 2.5 percent this week, 4.6 percent in April and 4.9 percent in 2011.
Palladium prices for June rallied $16.85, or 2.2 percent, to close at $792.15 an ounce. They ranged from $775.30 to $797.80. Palladium advanced 3.0 percent this week, 3.2 percent in April, but it is down 1.4 percent in 2011.
UK markets were closed Friday in celebration of the royal wedding. London precious metals fixed on Thursday rose for the week and the month.
The gold fix at $1,535.50 an ounce climbed 2.1 percent this week and 6.7 percent in April. Silver prices were fixed at $48.70 an ounce, rising 5.3 percent on the week and 28.6 percent for the month. Platinum at $1,835.00 an ounce advanced 1.3 percent this week and 3.5 percent in April. The palladium fixing came in at $777.00 an ounce, adding 1.6 percent on the week and 1.4 percent on the month.
United States Mint weekly sales in atypical fashion advanced for every bullion product, and each bullion coin outperformed its previous weekly gain. The biggest bullion news out of the Mint this week was the Monday release of the five-ounce Gettysburg and Glacier silver bullion coins, the first two 2011-dated America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. The following table includes their sales.
|US Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|Prior Weekly Gains||Weekly Gains||April*||YTD 2011|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz)||18,500||29,500||94,500||358,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||0||11,000||12,000||33,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||0||12,000||14,000||52,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||0||25,000||40,000||200,000|
|American Buffalo Gold Coin (1 oz)||3,500||7,000||20,500||58,500|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||680,000||718,000||2,819,000||15,248,000|
|2011 ATB Silver Bullion Coins (5 oz)*||0||183,400||183,400||183,400|
*April figures have not been officially finalized, although they are not likely to change. **Sales of the five-ounce coins as of Wednesday, April 27.