Precious metals futures closed higher on Friday and for the week. The weekly gains for gold and silver were their first in three weeks, with the former ending ended at a more than 2-week high and the latter peaking at an about 1-1/2-week high.
Gold for April delivery climbed $3.10, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,230.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the highest since March 2 when prices ended at $1,232.90. Gold started to rally this week in after-hours trade Wednesday when the Fed raised interest rates by 25 basis points.
"It is almost as if the gold market is relieved that the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday evening, meaning that the whole business can be forgotten again for a while," Bloomberg News quoted a report from Commerzbank AG analysts.
Gold futures traded 2.4% higher on the week following two prior weekly losses of 2.1% and 2.5%. As recently as Wednesday, prices logged their lowest close since Jan. 30. With its recent gains, the yellow metal is up on the year by 6.8%.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Eighteen market professionals took part in a weekly Wall Street survey. Eleven voters, or 61%, see gold prices rising by next Friday. Two, or 11%, said lower, while five voters, or 28%, look for a sideways market.
Meanwhile, 1,965 Kitco readers submitted votes in an online Main Street poll. The largest camp — 1,348 voters, or 69% — is bullish. Another 392, or 20%, say that gold will fall, while 225, or 11%, are neutral."
Elsewhere, silver for May delivery tacked on 8.3 cents, or 0.5%, to finish at $17.413 an ounce. The settlement is the highest since March 7 when prices closed at $17.536 an ounce.
Silver futures gained 2.9% this week after two successive weekly declines of 4.6% and 3.3%. They are 8.9% higher through the first eleven weeks of this year.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum rose $4.60, or 0.5%, to $963 an ounce, for a 2.6% weekly increase.
- Palladium for June delivery added $9.15, or 1.2%, to $775.80 an ounce, marking a 4.1% advance this week.
Both metals are sharply higher for the year to date with increases of 6.3% for platinum and 13.5% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices were mixed Friday and higher for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold added 25 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,229.60 an ounce.
- Silver declined 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $17.40 an ounce.
- Platinum added $4, or 0.4%, to $960 an ounce.
- Palladium rose $9, or 1.2%, to $778 an ounce.
Their weekly gains totaled 2.2% for gold, 3% for silver, 1.9% for platinum and 3.5% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2017
U.S. Mint bullion sales improved for a second straight week for gold coins but slowed for a second week in a row for silver coins. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coins added 8,000 ounces after rising by 5,000 ounces last week. Splits include 5,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 4,500 ounces previously and 2,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo compared to 500 ounces previously.
Silver coins advanced by 220,000 ounces compared to 280,000 ounces previously. And like last week, American Silver Eagles accounted for all sales.
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||Feb Sales||Mar Sales||2017 Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||3,500||2,500||21,000||6,000||113,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||1,000||5,000||1,000||25,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||2,000||4,000||2,000||42,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||10,000||20,000||30,000||30,000||185,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||500||2,500||15,000||3,000||50,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||280,000||220,000||1,215,000||500,000||6,842,500|
|2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||19,500||0||19,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–|
|2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–|
|2016 Fort Moultrie 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Update: This article was edited to change London gold from $1,129.60 to $1,229.60.