Gold Prices Up on Week, Silver Dips, US Silver Coins Best Since Jan.

by Mike Unser on May 19, 2012 · 0 comments

Fine Gold Bars Gold rebounded a combined $55.30 between Thursday and Friday to spring back from its lowest price this year and eke out a 0.5% weekly gain — the first in three weeks.

Advances on Friday were largely attributed to bargain hunting and a weaker U.S. dollar which fell after its longest winning streak since 1985, a ride of gains that lasted for 14 straight sessions.

"The move up is largely a bounce back from the steep declines we had been seeing in the last two weeks," MarketWatch quoted Rohit Savant, an analyst with CPM Group in New York.

In closing Friday, gold prices for June delivery rose $17.00, or 1.1%, to $1,591.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The yellow metal hit an intraday low of $1,567.80 and reached a high of $1,597.50. The settlement is 3.6% higher than when gold closed on Wednesday to its lowest price this year at $1,536.60 an ounce.

"To see a return of gold reacting positively to macro stresses is indeed refreshing, but it is still far too early to make any firm conclusions from here that gold has indeed turned the corner," USB said in a note that was cited on Reuters. "Momentum will be key, and follow-through buying will have to kick in to encourage investors to jump in."

"More importantly, gold’s reaction function will have to consistently exhibit its safe haven properties, and do so for some time to attract strategic buying."

Expectations Diverge for Gold Prices Next Week, Per Surveys

Two weekly gold surveys show differing levels of expectations for gold prices next week. A Bloomberg survey was bearish for the first time in six weeks while a Kitco News survey is heavily bullish. The latter results first:

"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 33 participants, 23 responded this week. Of those 23 participants, 21 see prices up, while two see prices down, and zero are neutral," reports Kitco.

"A solid majority of participants expect prices to rally next week, especially since June gold futures on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange held the (intraday) low set on Wednesday of $1,526.70. Many said the sell-off was overdone so the rebound was in due course…

Those who see weakness next week said they think that gold cannot build on these gains and that the rally was nothing more than a short-term bounce in an otherwise down-trending market. Worries about the eurozone, which have pressured gold recently, remain at the forefront, they add."

As for the Bloomberg survey, it has 13 of 29 survey participants expecting lower gold prices next week. 11 were bullish and 5 neutral.

For the year, gold prices have gained $25.10, or 2.9%.

Silver, Platinum and Palladium Prices

Silver and platinum advanced Friday, but palladium dipped slightly. In Friday settlement futures prices:

  • Silver prices for July delivery rose 69.5 cents, or 2.5%, to $28.715 an ounce. The white metal ranged from $27.780 to $28.895.

  • Platinum prices for July delivery added $5.90, or 0.4%, to $1,459.30 an ounce, trading between $1,443.50 and $1,466.30.

  • Palladium prices for June delivery declined $2.25, or 0.4%, to $603.60 an ounce, ranging from $596.45 to $612.30.

For the week, the three metals moved opposite of their Friday direction, with silver shedding 0.6%, platinum slipping 0.8% and palladium gaining less than 0.1%.

For the year, silver prices are up 2.9% and platinum prices have climbed 3.9%. Palladium, however, has fallen 8.0% in 2012.

London Precious Metal

London precious metals were all higher Friday but mixed on the week. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:

  • Gold gained $35.50, or 2.3%, to $1,589.50 an ounce,
  • Silver advanced $1.00, or 3.6%, at $28.48 an ounce,
  • Platinum added $7.00, or 0.5%, to $1,456.00 an ounce, and
  • Palladium increased $3.00, or 0.5%, at $605.00 an ounce

Gold climbed 0.4% on the week while palladium was unchanged. Metals with the weekly losses were silver at 0.3% and platinum at 0.7%.

U.S. Mint Bullion Sales – Silver Coins Best Since Jan.

Weekly gains for the U.S. Mint’s bullion silver coins were on the exceptional side with distributors ordering 1,030,000 American Silver Eagles — the highest weekly total since the week of January 16.

For a perspective, one week ago the 99.9% fine silver coins had a tally of just 510,000 and were on track to challenge the worst monthly total since February 2008. Silver Eagle sales in May have now passed those from last month (1,520,000) and from February (1,490,000).

Demand for the U.S. Mint’s bullion gold coins was a bit lower this week with 9,000 ounces sold versus the 12,500 ounces claimed last week.

The following are the available daily, weekly, May and year-to-date bullion coin sales totals as reported by the U.S. Mint.

U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales
  Daily Gains Prior Weekly Weekly Gain May Gains YTD 2012
American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz.) 0 11,500 4,000 35,500 216,500
American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz.) 0 0 0 0 51,000
American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz.) 0 0 0 0 42,000
American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz.) 0 0 5,000 5,000 140,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 1,000 4,500 5,500 61,000
American Eagle Silver Coins 130,000 410,000 1,030,000 1,540,000 13,199,000


America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales
  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 0 28,900
TOTAL 0 0 152,300


All coin sales figures 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, indicating none have sold since.

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