U.S. gold and silver prices rose solidly Friday, but all precious metals registered weekly losses. After starting the week with two sharp declines, the yellow metal put a string of gains together for three straight days. Although gold was just as volatile as other metals, it was least changed in percentage terms — for the day and the week.
On Friday, April gold prices rose $11.90, or 0.8 percent, to end at $1,416.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
"It’s the concern about what would happen in Libya. Will Gaddafi really stick up to the cease fire? That’s probably the only reason why gold’s being bid up at all," Dennis Gartman, author of the Gartman Letter, an investment newsletter, said and was quoted on Reuters.
Gold was traded as low as $1,402.20 and as high as $1,424.10. Gold prices have declined 0.4 percent for the week and the year.
"The unrest in the Mideast is flaring again, sharing the news spotlight with the tragedy in Japan, and that is expected to underpin gold prices going into next week," wrote Debbie Carlson of Kitco News.
Carlson added "Gold did not act as a safe-haven during the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear worries. Prices fell during the early part of the week and analysts attributed the break to investors selling gold to raise cash in order to shore up positions in other markets that were falling after the news in Japan. By Friday, gold rebounded with other markets."
Silver prices for May delivery surged 80.0 cents, or 2.3 percent, to settle at $35.058 an ounce. It ranged between $34.240 and $35.425. Silver prices fell 2.4 percent this week but they are still 13.3 percent higher in 2011. Silver is the only precious metal that is higher this year.
Platinum prices for April delivery advanced $16.50, or 1.0 percent, to close at $1,723.40 an ounce. Prices ranged between $1,700.00 and $1,724.00. Platinum dipped 3.3 percent this week and it is down 3.1 percent for the year.
Palladium prices for June delivery jumped $14.40, or 2.0 percent, to finish at $731.20 an ounce. It hit an intraday low of $711.70 and a high of $732.75. Palladium plunged 4.5 percent this week. It has lost 9.0 percent in 2011.
London PM fix bullion prices were higher across the board on Friday as compared to their previous PM fixings, but they mixed on the week.
The gold fixing ended up with a daily gain of $16.25, or 1.2 percent, with its fixing of $1,420.00 an ounce. That gave it a modest weekly increase of 0.6 percent.
Silver rose 68 cents, or 2.0 percent, for the day and advanced 3.1 percent for the week. Its fixing on Friday was $35.150 an ounce.
Platinum gained $23.00, or 1.4 percent, with its fixing of $1,720.00 an ounce. It lost 3.2 percent this week, however.
Palladium was also lower on the week with its loss of 3.6 percent. However, its Friday PM fixing was $727.00 an ounce for a daily pick-up of $15.00, or 2.1 percent.
Last week all United States Mint bullion coins rose and outperformed their previous weekly gains. This week two of the American Eagle Gold Coins remained unchanged — the one-quarter ounce and one-half ounce. The one-ounce Gold Eagle advanced 9,500 versus the previous weekly increase of 24,500 while the one-tenth ounce Gold Eagle added 20,000 against the prior 5,000.
American Eagle Silver bullion coins rose 700,000 versus 717,000, but they impressively topped the 11 million milestone for the year. That already places 2011 as the fourth best year for the coins which were first issued in 1986.
The 2011 Gold Buffalo bullion coin was released on Monday. Buyers ordered 4,500 since Thursday, bringing their new total to 26,000.
Read the latest US Mint sales article for information on recent demand for United States Mint numismatic coins.
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)||24,500||9,500||40,000||243,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||4,000||0||4,000||17,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||10,000||0||10,000||28,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||5,000||20,000||25,000||145,000|
|American Buffalo Gold Coin (1 oz)||0||26,000||26,000||26,000|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||717,000||700,000||1,417,000||11,079,000|