Gold futures drove their losing streak to eight sessions in a row, posted their third straight weekly decline, and settled at their lowest level in more than three months.
Gold for August delivery on Friday shed $6, or 0.5%, to close at $1,216.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the lowest since Feb. 22 when prices ended at $1,210.10 an ounce.
"A firming dollar and expectations for higher interest rates are good excuses for the current dip in gold prices," MarketWatch quoted Michael Armbruster, principal and co-founder at Altavest.
Gold futures lost 2.9% this week after falling 1.6% last week and 1.7% the week before then. Prices are tracking toward a 6% monthly decline, though they are still 14.8% higher on the year.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"This week, Kitco’s online survey received 790 votes. A total of 499 respondents, or 51%, said they were bullish in the week ahead, while 278, or 35%, were bearish. The neutral votes totaled 112, or 14%.
Meanwhile, 20 analysts and traders took part in a survey for market professionals. The largest chunk — nine, or 45% — looked for prices to ease next week. Seven participants, or 35%, called for a rise, while four, or 20%, were neutral."
Falling on Friday for the first time in three sessions, silver for July delivery shed 7.4 cents, or 0.5%, to $16.269 an ounce. The precious metal ended 1.6% lower this week — its fourth straight weekly loss, and trimmed its gain this year to 17.9%. The weekly loss marks a fourth in a row.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
July platinum declined $13.60, or 1.4%, to settle at $982.20 an ounce, ending 4% lower than a week earlier.
- Palladium for September delivery slipped $4.65, or 0.9%, to settle at $539 an ounce, for a weekly loss of 3.6%.
Year to date, platinum is 10% higher while palladium is 4.1% lower.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals were mixed on Friday and down for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold declined $7.60, or 0.6%, to $1,216.25 an ounce.
- Silver dropped 16 cents, or 1%, to $16.30 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $19, or 1.9%, to $984 an ounce.
- Palladium gained $1, or 0.2%, to $546 an ounce.
Their sharp weekly loses tallied to 3% for gold, 1.6% for silver, 4% for platinum and 3.7% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016
United States bullion sales logged smaller gains this week but they are soundly higher in May compared to the same month a year ago — by more than triple for American Gold Eagles and by nearly 2 million coins for American Silver Eagles.
In the latest week-over-week comparisons:
U.S. Mint sales of gold coins advanced 24,500 ounces after rising 26,000 previously. The weekly splits include 21,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 23,000 ounces previously, and 3,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo to match the prior week.
- Silver coins moved up by 891,000 ounces, all from American Silver Eagles, compared to 1,025,000 ounces last week when sales included 970,000 ounces in Silver Eagles and 55,000 ounces in 2016 Cumberland Gap Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins.
The U.S. Mint restricted this week’s sales of American Silver Eagle to 1,057,500 coins. Bullion distributors ordered 84.3% of them. 2016 American Silver Eagles are running at a record sales pace with sales of 22,833,500 coins, representing a 37.8% increase over those sold through same time in record-breaking year 2015.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods of time.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Mar Sales||Apr Sales||May Sale||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||10,000||18,500||18,500||29,000||93,500||57,000||336,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||1,000||1,000||1,000||6,000||5,000||41,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||2,000||4,000||6,000||4,000||14,000||10,000||76,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||5,000||30,000||10,000||75,000||55,000||50,000||425,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||3,000||3,000||7,000||19,500||16,000||95,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||30,000||970,000||891,000||4,106,000||4,072,000||3,919,000||22,833,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||0||0||105,000|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||11,000||0||0||64,000||11,000||75,000|