Gold futures closed to a fresh, more than 11-week high Friday, scoring their fifth weekly increase in six weeks and their best week of advances in almost 8 months.
Gold for April delivery climbed $1.40, or 0.1%, to end at $1,220.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the highest since Nov. 16 when prices ended at $1,223.90 an ounce. Gold gained, opined analysts, on the heels of a report showing soft wage data.
"The market is convincing itself that wages aren’t going to become a problem," Bloomberg News quoted Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto. "There’s really not a big problem the U.S. central bank needs to fix right now. The gold market is looking at this and saying there’s not a lot pressure to restrict policy at this point."
Gold futures settled up 2.7% this week — their largest weekly gain since the week ended June 10, after sliding 1.4% last week. The yellow metal is 9.3% higher through the first five weeks of this year.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Eighteen traders and analysts took part in a weekly Wall Street survey. Thirteen voters, or 72%, see gold prices rising by next Friday. Three, or 17%, said lower, while two voters, or 11%, look for a sideways market.
There was heavier-than-normal participation in a Main Street online survey, with 2,234 respondents. A total of 1,430 participants, or 64%, called for gold to rise, while 607, or 27%, saw lower prices. The remaining 197 voters, or 9%, were neutral."
Ending higher Friday for the first time in three days, silver for March delivery added 5 cents, or 0.3%, to $17.479 an ounce. Silver futures extended their weekly win streak to five in a row, with the latest advance at 2%. They are 9.3% higher on the year. On Tuesday, they settled at their best level since Nov. 10.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum added $7.10, or 0.7%, to $1,006.70 an ounce for a 2.4% weekly increase.
- Palladium for March delivery fell $10.05, or 1.3%, to $749 an ounce, paring its gain on the week to 1.4%.
The two metals have rallied so far this year with advances of 11.2% for platinum and 9.6% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices ended lower on Friday and higher for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold lost $6.75, or 0.6%, to $1,215.20 an ounce.
- Silver declined 43 cents, or 2.4%, to $17.28 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $12, or 1.2%, to $992 an ounce.
- Palladium lost $20, or 2.6%, to $747 an ounce.
Their increases for the week tallied to 2.6% for gold, 3.5% for silver, 2.8% for platinum and 3.5% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2017
U.S. Mint bullion sales weakened. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coins advanced 13,000 ounces after moving up by 17,500 ounces last week. Sales splits include 9,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles versus 13,500 ounces previously and 4,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins to match last week.
2017 American Silver Eagles added 230,000 to their total following their week-ago gain of 325,000 coins.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Jan Sales||Feb Sales||2017 Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||20,000||0||20,000||0||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||1,500||10,000||8,000||86,500||1,500||88,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,000||0||19,000||0||19,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||0||36,000||0||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||5,000||25,000||10,000||125,000||5,000||130,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||2,500||4,000||4,000||32,000||2,500||34,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||325,000||230,000||5,127,500||0||5,127,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–|
|2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||100||0||0|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–||0||–||800||–||–|
|2016 Fort Moultrie 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||0|