Gold futures finished higher for a second session Friday with supporting, brisk physical demand. Still, prices never recovered from Monday and the yellow metal plummeted 7% for the week.
Gold for June delivery on Friday inched up $3.10, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,395.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
The market is seeing selling of gold exchange-traded funds, "while there is enormous, I would call it intense, demand for the physical metal itself worldwide," MarketWatch quoted Gene Arensberg, editor of the Got Gold Report. "It’s like there are several year’s worth of pent-up bargain-hunting demand for gold turning loose with gold at or below $1,400."
Last Friday, gold dived $63.50. On Monday, the metal plummeted $140.30 for its biggest one-day loss since 1980 and its lowest settlement price since February 2011. Gold bounced back $26.30 on Tuesday, dipped $4.70 on Wednesday, advanced $9.80 on Thursday and settled up with the aforementioned $3.10 on Friday. Through this stretch of time, gold gave away $169.30, or 10.8%.
Price Expectations for Next Week
The cautious outlook voiced in the results of last week’s gold surveys proved well founded given the metal’s decline this week. Surveys for price expectations next week are more bullish.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 35 participants, 27 responded this week. Of those 27 participants, 17 see prices up, while four see prices down, and six see prices moving sideways or are neutral," said Kitco News.
Kitco News reports that those who see higher prices next week noted the heavy losses and that a small rebound could happen "on the ideas prices had fallen too far, too fast." Also, that strong physical demand helped prices this week with some survey participants expecting "that to continue into next week."
Bloomberg’s weekly gold survey was split with 15 participants bullish, 14 bearish and 5 neutral.
For the year-to-date, gold has fallen $280.20, or 16.7%.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver has notched just one day of gains going back to a week ago Thursday, giving up since then a total of $4.74, or 17.1%.
On Friday, silver for May delivery fell 28.5 cents, or 1.2%, to close at $22.96 an ounce. The settlement price is lowest since February 2010.
Prices sank 12.8% for the week for a sixth straight weekly loss. Silver is the worst performing precious metal for the year-to-date, plunging 24.0% for a dollar loss of $7.27.
In other New York bullion futures on Friday and for the week:
July platinum shed $5.10, or 0.4%, to $1,423.90 an ounce for a loss on the week of 4.8%.
- Palladium for June delivery tacked on $7.25, or 1.1%, to $677.05 an ounce. The PGM metal declined 4.5% from a week ago.
For the year-to-date, platinum is off 7.7% and palladium is down 3.7%.
London Fix Bullion Prices
Precious metals in London were mixed. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fixings:
- Gold advanced $11.75, or 0.8%, to $1,405.50 an ounce,
- Silver added 15.0 cents, or 0.6%, to $23.66 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $7.00, or 0.5%, to $1,425.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium gained $7.00, or 1.0%, to $677.00 an ounce
Bullion in London ended the week near New York precious metals futures closings. Weekly losses accumulated to 8.5% for gold, 13.6% for silver, 5.9% for platinum and 5.4% for palladium.
US Bullion Coin Sales in April
In attesting to strong physical demand for gold, U.S. Mint sales of gold bullion coins raced for the highest weekly total in years. Yet, silver bullion coins moved the slowest since mid-February. In weekly sales breakdowns:
Gold bullion coins soared to 131,500 ounces for a 292.5% increase over last week’s total of 33,500 ounces, which was a solid weak itself. Splits were 117,000 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles and 14,500 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalos. For the Gold Eagles, April sales with still more than a week left are at 167,500 ounces. That is the highest level for a month since the December 2009 total of 231,500 ounces.
American Silver Eagles totaled 675,000 for a 25% decline from the prior week’s 900,000. At 16,610,000 for the year-to-date, the bullion coins stay on pace for a new annual sales record. 2011 now holds that record at 39.8+ million. Sales in that year reached 15,248,000 at the end of April.
In related coin news, this week CoinNews.net published an article showing how the San Francisco Mint produces coins. Included in that article are photos of the Mint striking bullion American Silver Eagles.
U.S. Mint bullion sales by day, for April and the year-to-date follow.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||April Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||13,000||25,500||104,000||148,500||395,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||3,000||7,000||11,000||37,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||2,000||2,000||18,000||22,000||68,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||10,000||10,000||50,000||80,000||295,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||2,500||5,000||14,500||21,500||116,500|
|American Eagle Bullion Silver Coins||0||900,000||675,000||2,387,000||16,610,000|
All bullion figures above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the bullion coin’s weight. 2011-2012 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins sold out on March 1, 2013. The U.S. Mint is not yet selling any of this year’s five ounce coins.