Gold futures declined for the first time in eight sessions, slipping from a 17-month high, but still advanced for their third straight weekly gain.
Gold for August delivery on Friday shed $3.60, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,294.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the yellow metal closed at its highest price since Jan. 22, 2015.
"Gold is reverting to its safe-haven role, in a situation where euro zone government bonds are in negative yield territory and investors have fewer safe assets to choose from," Reuters quoted Mitsubishi Corp strategist Jonathan Butler.
Gold futures gained 1.5% this week after rising 2.7% last week and 2.2% the week before then. They are $234.60, or 22.1%, higher than their ending settlement in 2015 at $1,060.20 an ounce.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Twenty-three analysts and traders took part in a survey of market professionals. Fifteen, or 65%, said they were bullish. The bearish and neutral camps both received four votes, or 17%.
Meanwhile, this week’s Kitco’s online survey received 852 votes. A total of 683 respondents, or 80%, said they were bullish for the week ahead, while 115, or 13%, were bearish. The neutral votes totaled 54, or 6%."
Elsewhere in trading Friday, silver for July delivery fell 19.6 cents, or 1.1%, to close at $17.411 an ounce. In the prior session, silver futures settled at their best level since May 2. The loss on Friday trimmed silver’s weekly advance to 0.5%. The precious metal is 26.1% higher so far this year.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
July platinum declined $12.20, or 1.3%, to $966.10 an ounce, for a 2.8% weekly loss.
- Palladium for September delivery shed $5.30, or 1%, to $529.65 an ounce, falling 3% on the week.
Year to date, platinum is 8.2% higher while palladium is 5.8% lower.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices also declined Friday and were mixed on the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold fell $20.05, or 1.5%, to $1,290.70 an ounce.
- Silver declined 34 cents, or 1.9%, to $17.37 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $17, or 1.7%, to $968 an ounce.
- Palladium declined $9, or 1.7%, to $531 an ounce.
For the week, gold rose 1.2% and silver edged up 0.3% while platinum dropped 2.8% and palladium plunged 4.2%.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016
United States Mint bullion sales were mixed this week with the overall gold coin total slightly higher than last week while 2016 American Silver Eagles posted their lowest weekly total of the year. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coin sales advanced 19,500 ounces this week after rising by 18,000 ounces last week. The weekly splits include 16,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 15,000 ounces previously, and 3,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalos to match the previous week.
- Silver coin sales advanced 474,000 ounces this week after rising by 1,008,500 ounces last week. Sales splits include 468,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles compared to 843,500 previously and 6,000 ounces in Harpers Ferry Five Ounce Silver Coins compared to 165,000 ounces previously.
The U.S. Mint restricted this week’s sales of American Silver Eagle to 1,672,500 coins. Bullion distributors ordered 28% of them. 2016 American Silver Eagles are running at a record pace with sales of 24,795,500 coins, representing a 27.84% 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||Apr Sales||May Sale||June Sales||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||12,500||14,000||93,500||64,500||36,000||379,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||0||1,000||6,000||7,000||1,000||44,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||0||2,000||2,000||14,000||10,000||4,000||80,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||5,000||20,000||15,000||55,000||60,000||35,000||470,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||0||3,000||3,000||19,500||18,500||9,000||107,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||238,000||843,500||468,000||4,072,000||4,498,500||1,382,500||24,795,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||0||0||105,000|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||64,000||11,000||0||75,000|
|2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||33,000||1,200||64,000||11,000||34,200||34,200|