U.S. gold prices rebounded from earlier weakness and settled up 0.7 percent on Friday — its biggest increase this week. The advance was not enough to overcome losses on Thursday, however, as the metal fell a modest 0.5 percent on the week.
April gold prices rose $9.30 to close at $1,421.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
"The rise in metals is a reflection of the fear appetite," Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago, was quoted on Bloomberg. "Investors want some kind of protection in case of a flare-up over the weekend."
Gold was traded as low as $1,404.80 and as high as $1,423.00. Gold prices are higher this year by a modest 40 cents.
"Gold’s performance next week will hinge in large part on how political unrest in the Middle East plays out and whether any events trigger a worsening of the European debt crisis," wrote Allen Sykora of Kitco News.
"Nevertheless, as Friday’s activity wound down, there was a degree of optimism among futures analysts that gold will stabilize and start to work higher again, particularly since it appears the conflict in Libya may last a while and the U.S. dollar was starting to give back some of its new-found strength," added Sykora.
Silver prices for May delivery soared 86.9 cents, or 2.5 percent, to close at $35.935 an ounce. It ranged between $34.050 and $36.005. Silver prices advanced 1.7 percent this week. The metal is up 16.2 percent in 2011.
Platinum prices for April delivery gained $16.10, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $1,781.70 an ounce. Prices ranged between $1,758.10 and $1,782.90. Platinum tumbled 3.1 percent this week. It has climbed a modest 0.2 percent for the year.
For a second straight Friday, palladium was the only precious metal to decline in New York. Palladium prices for June delivery lost 90 cents, or 0.1 percent, to close at $765.50 an ounce. It hit an intraday low of $742.00 and a high of $774.35. Palladium plunged 5.5 percent this week. It is down 4.7 percent in 2011.
London PM fix prices were lower for all precious metals as compared to their previous PM fixings. They were also lower on the week.
The gold fix was $1,411.50 an ounce for a daily loss of $1.75, or 0.1 percent, and a weekly decline of 1.1 percent.
Silver fell $1.09, or 3.1 percent, for the day and ended 1.0% lower for the week. Its fixing on Friday was $34.100.
Platinum ended down $1.00, or 0.1%, with its fixing of $1,777.00 an ounce. It lost 2.8 percent this week.
Palladium fell $15.00, or 2.0 percent, for the day and was down 7.0 percent for the week. Its Friday PM fixing was $754 an ounce.
All United States Mint bullion coins advanced this week, each performing better than the previous week. Sales of fractional American Gold Eagle bullion coins rose for the first time in March, making their weekly and monthly totals identical for now. The one-ounce Gold Eagle was the only Mint bullion coin to gain on Friday, rising 3,000. Its weekly increase was 30,500 versus 11,000 from the prior week. American Silver Eagle coins notably topped the 10 million sales level for 2011.
For the major news items of the week regarding the United States Mint or its coins, read:
The latest United States Mint bullion sales figures follow.
|U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|Prior Weekly Gains||Weekly Gains||March||2011 Totals|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz)||11,000||24,500||30,500||233,500|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||0||4,000||4,000||17,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||0||10,000||10,000||28,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||0||5,000||5,000||125,000|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||575,000||717,000||717,000||10,379,000|