Precious metals futures on Thursday traded lower for a second session in a row, driving their weekly losses deeper. Most U.S. markets are closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.
Gold for April delivery dipped $2.40, or 0.2%, to end at $1,221.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the lowest since Feb. 26 when prices ended at $1,220.40 an ounce. The yellow metal was pressured as the U.S. dollar saw support, opined analysts.
"The dollar is still the most crucial driver for gold," Bloomberg Gold quoted Georgette Boele, a strategist at ABN Amro Group NV in Amsterdam and who expects the metal to climb to $1,370 by year-end. "Short-term sentiment is a bit negative for the metal."
Gold futures dropped 2.6% on the week — their third straight weekly loss, after slipping 0.4% last week and 0.9% the week before then. Still, they have climbed 15.2% so far this year. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"This week, 682 people participated in Kitco’s weekly online survey and sentiment, while still modestly bullish, declined sharply from the previous week. Of the participants, 316 people, or 46%, said they are bullish on gold next week, down from 78% last week; meanwhile, 284 people, or 42%, said they are bearish on gold next week and 82 people, or 12%, said they are neutral on gold…
Out of 35 market experts contacted, 19 responded, of which only two professionals, or 11%, said they expect to see higher prices next week. At the same time, 12 professionals, or 63%, said they expect to see lower prices, and five analysts, or 26%, are neutral. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical-chart analysts."
Elsewhere, silver for May delivery declined 7.3 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $15.199 an ounce. The settlement was the lowest since March 3. Silver prices sank 3.9% on the week. They are $1.40, or 10.1%, higher than their final 2015 settlement of $13.80 an ounce.
In PGM futures on Thursday and for the week:
April platinum lost $8.40, or 0.9%, to $952.40 an ounce, falling 1.9% from a week ago.
- Palladium for June delivery declined $10.45, or 1.8%, to $572.65 an ounce, dropping 3% on the week.
For the year to date, platinum and palladium are higher by 6.6% and 1.9%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals also declined on Friday and for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold added $3.40, or 0.3%, to $1,221 an ounce.
- Silver declined 30 cents, or 1.9%, to $15.28 an ounce.
- Platinum declined $3, or 0.3%, to $957 an ounce.
- Palladium declined $3, or 0.5%, to $577 an ounce.
For the week, their losses totaled 2.5% for gold, 4.1% for silver, 1.5% for platinum and 2.7% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2016
United States Mint bullion products registered a daily gain of 3,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles.
The U.S. Mint this week limited sales of American Silver Eagles to 1 million. The agency’s bullion distributors ordered 94.3% of them through Thursday. Their cumulative total for the year is 13,942,500 coins, or 23% higher than through the same time in record year 2015.
Below is a sales breakdown of United States Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods of time.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Thursday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Jan Sales||Feb Sales||Mar Sales||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||3,000||5,500||6,000||89,000||67,500||24,000||180,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||0||0||23,000||6,000||1,000||30,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||0||0||0||36,000||12,000||4,000||52,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||0||15,000||15,000||145,000||100,000||50,000||295,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||0||2,000||1,000||34,000||19,000||5,000||58,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||0||1,000,000||942,500||5,954,500||4,782,000||3,206,000||13,942,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||N/A||105,000||0||105,000|