Gold and Silver Prices Rise Friday, Split on Week


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Gold and silver prices closed higher Friday as Greece’s sovereign-debt issues continued to be bullish for both metals.

On the week, however, the metals were mixed. Gold gained 0.6 percent while silver prices fell 1.6 percent. Other precious metals were hit harder, with weekly losses of 4.4 percent for platinum and 8.8 percent for palladium.

On the Comex in New York Friday, August gold prices rose $9.20, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1,539.10 an ounce. Gold traded between $1,523.20 and $1,543.00. Gold has gained 8.3 percent in 2011.

"The market remains very jittery and there is still far too much uncertainty over Greece," Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in a report cited on Bloomberg. "Global risk sentiment is still sour and bullion could well rally to May highs given a renewed flight to safety should matters worsen."

Silver prices for July delivery advanced 18.9 cents, or 0.5 percent, to close at $35.748 an ounce. Silver touched an intraday low of $34.925 and hit a high of $35.920. Silver prices have rallied 15.6 percent this year.

Debbie Carlson of Kitco Metals Inc. noted the following on Friday about bullion prices:

"How the situation in Greece unfolds over the coming days could influence the precious metals market into next week, market participants said Friday.

As Greece teeters on the brink of default and civil unrest rises in the country over sharp spending cuts, gold has seen some safe-haven buying emerge as investors flee riskier assets.

Meanwhile, other precious metals with industrial ties such as silver and the platinum group metals have faltered as investors move from risk and from concerns about reduced global growth increase amid disappointing economic data."

Platinum prices for July delivery declined $8.60, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $1,752.10 an ounce. Platinum moved between $1,745.70 and $1,772.50.

Palladium prices for September delivery plummeted $18.10, or 2.4 percent, to close at $745.40 an ounce. The metal traded from a low of $743.55 to a high of $764.05.

Platinum and palladium have had a rough week and year. The last time the two metals marked a daily increase was on June 9. For the year, platinum is down 1.5 percent and palladium has fallen 7.2 percent.

London bullion prices moved in the same direction for the day and for the week — gold advanced while the other metals declined. When comparing London fix prices on Friday (PM) from those on Thursday (PM), gold rose $14.25 to $1,537.50 an ounce, silver prices declined 16.0 cents at $35.390 an ounce, platinum declined $3.00 to $1,751.00 an ounce, and palladium declined $4.00 at $754.00 an ounce.

For the week in London, gold rose a modest 0.5 percent while losses included 5.3 percent for silver, 4.3 percent for platinum and 6.9 percent for palladium.

United States Mint bullion coins enjoyed healthy daily and weekly gains. 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins made their second straight daily pick-up of 500. Until this week, the bullion coins had not been on the sales table in June. The same is true for the one-fourth ounce American Gold Eagle which rose 2,000 on Friday. Finally, the Mint’s major bullion sellers — the one-ounce American Gold and Silver Eagle coins, handily surpassed their previous weekly gains.

The five-ounce America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins have slowed a bit. That will change next week with the new Vicksburg silver coin release.

The latest United States Mint bullion coin sales figures follow:

US Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 3,000 6,500 8,500 33,000 484,500
Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 0 0 0 0 55,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 2,000 0 2,000 2,000 58,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 0 5,000 20,000 235,000
Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 500 0 1,000 1,000 75,000
Silver Eagle (1 oz.) 93,500 888,000 932K 1.867M 20.7685M
ATB Silver Bullion (5 oz.)* 0 0 0 0 326,800

*ATB Silver bullion coin sales figures are not published by the Mint daily. The current figure has an "as of date" of June 12.

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