Precious metals plunged sharply Friday after rallying in the previous session.
As for the week, all but platinum still ended higher. Weekly advances stacked to 1.8% for gold, 1% for silver and 3.3% for palladium. Platinum ended 0.8% lower than a week ago.
On Friday, gold for December delivery declined $36.80, or 2.7%, to settle at $1,332.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold on Thursday soared $61.70, or 4.7%, for its biggest daily increase since March 10, 2009. Gains came after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly left its stimulus unchanged. Losses on Friday were attributed to profit taking and chatter about Fed tapering in October.
Going into the FOMC announcement on Wednesday, large funds were calling for lower gold and "they were caught offside," MarketWatch quoted Gene Arensberg, editor of the Got Gold Report.
"So what we’re seeing now is digestion of the surprise knee-jerk reaction on Wednesday — but make no mistake: the game has changed," Arensberg said. "This is merely a consolidation."
Gold this week pared a bit of its year-to-date loss. The precious metal is down 20.5% from its ending price in 2012.
Gold surveys from a week ago were more bearish than bullish. The latest surveys show a reversing, though Kitco’s is nearly divided with 9 participants expecting higher gold prices next week, 8 thinking they will fall and 2 neutral.
"Whipsaw action in gold this week is leaving participants in the Kitco News Gold Survey split in their views on where gold prices might go next week, with a nominal number expecting higher prices," reports Kitco News.
"Those who see higher prices said they expect some follow-through buying after Wednesday’s rally to occur, even with the profit taking that’s hit gold on Friday… Participants who see weaker prices said they were disappointed by the way the market sold off on Friday…"
Last week’s gold survey from Bloomberg News was the most bearish since June while the latest one is the most bullish in three weeks. Sixteen analysts surveyed by the news company forecast higher gold prices next week compared to 5 who were bearish and 5 who were neutral.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver sank the furthest in percentage Friday, having gained the most in the prior session when it advanced $1.73, or 8%. Silver’s Thursday increase was also the biggest since March 10, 2009.
As for Friday, silver for December delivery tumbled $1.37, or 5.9%, to finish at $21.93 an ounce.
In rounding out precious metals futures on Friday:
October platinum declined $40.40, or 2.7%, to end at $1,432.60 an ounce. It increased $47.80, or 3.4%, in the prior session.
- Palladium for December settled down $16.25, or 2.2%, to $721.95 an ounce. It jumped $35.10, or 5%, on Thursday.
Year-to-date, palladium stands alone with its pick up of 2.6%. Losses include 27.5% for silver and 7.1% for platinum.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious fixings were lower to unchanged Friday but all advanced on the week. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:
- Gold lost $16.25, or 1.2%, to $1,349.25 an ounce,
- Silver shed 26 cents, or 1.1%, to $22.74 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $22, or 1.5%, to $1,447 an ounce, and
- Palladium was flat at $726 an ounce
Bouncing back from harsh losses last week, London bullion fixings registered weekly gains of 2.3% for gold, 4.7% for silver, 0.4% for platinum and 3.7% for palladium.
U.S. Mint Bullion Sales in September
U.S. Mint bullion sales started the week strong with increases on Monday and Tuesday but then whimpered without additions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Overall, sales were still higher for silver coins but they retreated for gold coins. In weekly bullion sales breakdowns:
Silver coins added 675,000 ounces compared to last week’s 612,000 ounces. All sales came from American Silver Eagles. Last week, America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin sales soared by 112,000 ounces.
Gold coins increased by 4,500 ounces after rising 8,000 ounces in the prior week. Sales splits were 3,500 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles and 1,000 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins.
In coin totals (not ounces) are the latest daily, September and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion sales figures:
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||September Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||2,500||3,000||6,500||603,000|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||1,000||2,000||50,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||2,000||0||2,000||102,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||10,000||0||10,000||465,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||4,000||1,000||5,500||195,500|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||3,800||0||3,800||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,400||0||1,400||25,000|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||3,000||0||3,000||25,000|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||14,200||0||14,700||25,000|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||500,000||675,000||1,850,000||34,925,000|
Current US Silver Coin Melt Values
With the week’s silver increase, silver coin melt values for the September are down by half compared to a week ago. The grid below show melt values of older circulating U.S. coins that were produced with 90% silver. These coins, at least those that have little to no numismatic worth because they are too common or too worn, are the ones often sought for their silver values.
|US Silver Coins||Silver Coin Melt Values (12/31/2012)||Silver Coin Melt Values (8/30/2013)||Silver Coin Melt Values (9/20/2013)||Net Change in September||Net Change Year-To-Date|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.33||$1.28||-$0.05||-$0.41|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.71||$1.65||-$0.07||-$0.52|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.71||$1.65||-$0.07||-$0.52|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.71||$1.65||-$0.07||-$0.52|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$4.28||$4.11||-$0.16||-$1.30|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$4.28||$4.11||-$0.16||-$1.30|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$4.28||$4.11||-$0.16||-$1.30|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.55||$8.22||-$0.33||-$2.61|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$8.55||$8.22||-$0.33||-$2.61|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$8.55||$8.22||-$0.33||-$2.61|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.55||$8.22||-$0.33||-$2.61|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$3.50||$3.36||-$0.13||-$1.07|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$18.28||$17.59||-$0.70||-$5.58|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$18.28||$17.59||-$0.70||-$5.58|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$7.47||$7.19||-$0.28||-$2.28|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$23.64||$22.74||-$0.90||-$7.21|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$118.20||$113.70||-$4.50||-$36.05|
The coin melt values above are based on London fix silver prices at the end of 2012 and August and on September 20, 2013.