Gold, Silver Inch Up on Week; US Mint Silver Bullion Coins Jump

by CoinNews.net on December 14, 2013 · 3 comments

U.S. Mint American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins

Weekly U.S. Mint sales of its silver bullion coins were the highest since the end of August

Gold and silver bounced back Friday to recover from sharp prior-day losses and each logged weekly gains as a result.

Gold for February delivery rebounded $9.70, or 0.8%, to finish at $1,234.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices inched forward 0.5% on the week even with the plunge on Thursday of $32.30.

Federal Reserve "taper-talk is dominating the headlines ahead of next week’s Fed meeting and we have seen some pretty wild swings in Comex Gold futures as a result," MarketWatch quoted Tyler Richey, an analyst for the 7:00’s Report.

The Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy meeting begins on Tuesday with its highly anticipated monthly statement due out Wednesday.

Gold Forecasts

A majority of participants in last week’s gold surveys had expected lower or sideway moving prices. The latest survey by Kitco News shows mixed expectations for prices next week.

"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 23 responded this week. Of these, eight see prices up, while nine see prices down and six see prices sideways or are neutral," reports Kitco.

"Those who see weaker prices said gold’s inability to build on this week’s earlier gains is a bearish sign… Participants who see higher prices said they expect gold to bounce back to retest this week’s high as prices ping-pong in a range… Several participants said they’re on the sidelines in gold until after the FOMC meeting and others said they expect the back-and-forth trading gold experienced lately to continue."

Bloomberg News typically offers its weekly survey results on Friday. They were not published.

Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures

In other precious metals futures on Friday, silver for March delivery gained 15.1 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $19.60 an ounce. Silver’s 90 cent loss on Thursday wiped away gains from the prior three sessions but its advance on Friday brought prices back up for a modest 0.4% weekly gain.

PGMs ended lower Friday. In breaking down their numbers:

  • January platinum dipped $1.50, or 0.1%, to $1,362.90 an ounce.

  • Palladium for March delivery lost $4.05, or 0.6%, to $716.20 an ounce.

Platinum edged up 0.5% on the week. Last week, palladium rallied 2.3% and it was the lone precious metal to move higher. This week it was alone with its 2.7% loss.

The following grid shows the net percentage changes in New York precious metals futures through mid-December, the completed quarters in 2013 and the year-to-date.

New York Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)
December 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter YTD 2013
Silver -2.1 -6.3 -23.3 11.5 -35.1
Gold -1.3 -4.8 -31.3 8.4 -26.3
Platinum -0.4 2.1 -14.9 5.4 -11.6
Palladium -0.5 9.2 -14.0 10.1 1.8

 

London Fix Precious Metals

London bullion fixings were mixed on Friday and for the week. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:

  • Gold added $6.75, or 0.6%, to $1,232 an ounce,
  • Silver declined 25 cents, or 1.3%, to $19.55 an ounce,
  • Platinum shed $4, or 0.3%, to $1,367 an ounce, and
  • Palladium lost $6, or 0.8%, to $723 an ounce

Weekly results scattered with silver rising 0.3%, platinum finishing flat, gold slipping 0.1% and palladium falling 2.4%.

The following grid shows the net percentage changes in London precious metals fixings through to mid-December, the completed quarters in 2013 and the year-to-date.

London Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)
December 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter YTD 2013
Silver -1.9 -4.0 -34.1 15.0 -34.7
Gold -1.7 -4.4 -25.4 11.3 -26.0
Platinum -0.7 3.5 -16.4 7.1 -10.2
Palladium -0.1 10.2 -16.5 12.9 3.4

 

US Mint Bullion Sales in December

Demand grew for three of the U.S. Mint’s four bullion series. Gold Buffalo and Silver Eagle sales by Monday were already higher than their totals from last week. On Tuesday, sales of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose for the first time in three weeks. In fact, all five ounce coins sold out with the next release in the series not expected until late January.

In breaking down weekly sales across all U.S. Mint bullion products:

  • Gold coins advanced 16,000 ounces compared to last week’s 22,000 ounces. Sales splits were 12,000 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles, versus 20,500 previously, and 4,000 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins, versus 1,500 previously.

  • Silver coins climbed 821,500 ounces compared to 400,000 ounces from the prior week. Splits were 800,000 ounces in Silver Eagles — the highest since the end of August, with the other 21,500 ounces from America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins.

American Silver Eagle sales next week will go up only slightly, if at all. The Mint had earlier said that this week it would offer its last allocation of 2013-dated Silver Eagles. The bureau has not confirmed if its network of dealers ordered all of them. Any remaining coins would sell next week with those totals relatively small. The 2014-dated Silver Eagles do not launch until Jan. 13, 2014.

Listed below are U.S. Mint bullion sales for the week, for the month through Dec. 13, and the year-to-date.

American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday Sales Last Week Weekly Sales December Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 19,000 11,000 30,000 720,000
$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 0 0 0 58,000
$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 0 4,000 4,000 122,000
$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 15,000 0 15,000 535,000
$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins 0 1,500 4,000 5,500 237,500
White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins Sold Out 35,000
Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins* 0 0 2,900 2,900 30,000
Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins* 0 0 1,400 1,400 30,000
Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins Sold Out 30,000
Mount Rushmore 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins Sold Out 35,000
American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins 27,000 400,000 800,000 1,200,000 42,675,000

 

*Perry’s Victory and Great Basin silver bullion coins sold out on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The U.S. Mint will not have America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins to sell until the first 2014-dated strike is released in late January.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe December 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I have a question. Where does the mint get its metal supply to strike all the gold and silver coins? Is it from the open market or from our reserve inventory?

Mike Unser December 14, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Joe, the Mint buys from the open market.

Joe December 15, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Thanks, Mike, for your answer.

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