Gold marched ahead 1.8% this week despite a loss of more than $20 on Friday.
U.S. stocks, gold and other commodities declined Friday as data showed a cooling in China’s growth and euro debt worries resurfaced as the cost to insure Spanish debt climbed to an all-time high. Against these backdrops, the U.S. dollar firmed and precious metals slid.
"Everyone is looking for global growth, but the slowing in China and the rising yields in Europe are creating questions about how strong we might expect it to be," Reuters quoted Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at Charles Schwab in Denver.
Gold prices for June delivery declined $20.40, or 1.2%, to close at $1,660.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices traded from an intraday low of $1,649.70 to a high of $1,679.20. The loss took a sizable chunk out of the yellow metal’s weekly gain which came to $30.10.
Gold Prices Expected Higher Next Week
New surveys show a greater degree of bullish attitude for gold prices next week as compared to one week ago.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, 21 participants responded this week. Of those, 12 see prices up, five see prices down and four say sideways or unchanged," reports Kitco.
"Those who anticipate gains by gold cite an increase in ideas that the Federal Reserve may consider more loosening of monetary policy after all following softer economic data since last Friday’s U.S. monthly employment report… Those anticipating a retreat cite the inability of gold to probe through nearby chart resistance just above $1,680, as well as recent gains by the U.S. dollar."
Bloomberg gold survey results have 19 of 26 traders and analysts forecasting gains in gold next week. 6 are bearish and 1 is neutral.
Gold remains the third best performing precious metal this year, holding directly behind silver with platinum in the lead. Gold prices are up $93.40, or 6.0%, in 2012.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Palladium advanced this week beside gold, gaining a modest 0.4%. Other precious metals declined with weekly losses of 1.1% for silver and 1.2% for platinum.
In closing prices on Friday and on a year-to-date basis:
Silver prices for May delivery dropped $1.135, or 3.5%, to $31.390 an ounce, moving from $31.295 to $32.435. Silver has rallied $3.475, or 12.4%, in 2012.
Platinum prices for July delivery stepped back $18.10, or 1.1%, to $1,587.90 an ounce, trading between $1,582.90 and $1,610.10. Leading major metals this year, platinum has gained $183.00, or 13.0%.
Palladium prices for June delivery lost $5.90, or 0.9%, to $647.20 an ounce, ranging from $640.75 to $655.50. Palladium is the lone precious metal with a loss so far in 2012, down $8.95, or 1.4%.
London Precious Metals
With the exception of a slight 0.1% dip in gold prices, London precious metals were higher Friday. In comparing the most recent London PM fixings:
Gold lost $2.00 to $1,666.50 an ounce,
Silver advanced 89.5 cents, or 2.8%, to $32.365 an ounce,
Platinum gained $15.00, or 0.9%, to $1,600.00 an ounce, and
Palladium rose $2.00, or 0.3%, to $643.00 an ounce
All metals advanced on the week. Increases included 2.2% for gold, 3.5% for silver, 0.5% for platinum and 1.3% for palladium.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
Sales of U.S. Mint bullion coins were stronger this week but they were far from out-of-the park levels.
The one-ounce American Gold Eagle was the lone gainer Friday, advancing 1,000. The Gold Eagle’s weekly pick-up of 7,500 brought its mid-month total to 11,000 — a firm distance from half of the 57,500 delivered by the U.S. Mint last month.
Weekly sales of the American Gold Buffalo also improved, up 4,000 versus 3,000. But again, April sales are looking on the bleak side at 7,000 so far. United States Mint buyers ordered 26,000 in March.
In wrapping up bullion coins, American Silver Eagles advanced 460,000 this week against 320,000 last week. At this point, its monthly sales of 780,000 are less than a third of the total taken during March’s run of 2,542,000.
The following are the available daily, weekly, April and year-to-date bullion coin sales totals as provided by the U.S. Mint.
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Gains||Prior Weekly||Weekly Gains||April Gains||YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagles (1 oz.)||1,000||3,500||7,500||11,000||173,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/2 oz.)||0||0||0||0||51,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/4 oz.)||0||0||0||0||40,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/10 oz.)||0||5,000||0||5,000||135,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||3,000||4,000||7,000||53,500|
|American Silver Eagles||0||320,000||460,000||780,000||10,919,000|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins|
|Prior Weekly||Weekly Gains||All-Time Total|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||0||0||85,100|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||0||0||38,300|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||0||200||28,900|
All bullion coin sales in the above tables are in number of coins, not in the amount of ounces sold. The U.S. Mint last updated five ounce bullion silver coins sold on Monday, April 9.