U.S. gold prices dropped near $1,500 an ounce and silver prices fell well below $35 an ounce, closing Friday at bearish multi-week lows. A firmer dollar and weakened crude oil prices contributed to precious metals’ declines.
Weekly losses included 2.5 percent for gold, 3.1 percent for silver, 4.3 percent for platinum and 1.9 percent for palladium.
On the Comex in New York Friday, August gold prices ended down $19.60, or 1.3 percent, to $1,500.90 an ounce — its lowest closing point since May 19. Gold prices traded between $1,500.30 and $1,526.50.
"You have prices of crude oil, commodities and the stock market again under pressure. And you have a strong dollar. To think that gold is going to rally, it’s just not going to happen," independent investor Dennis Gartman said, according to Reuters. "Every market that has the term ‘risk’ associated with it, everybody wants out," he added.
Gold prices rallied for seven straight sessions until turning sharply lower on Thursday. In two days, prices have fallen $52.50, or 3.4 percent. Still, the metal has climbed 5.6 percent in 2011.
"The ‘risk-off’ view on markets in general could put some weight on gold prices next week, market participants said," noted Kitco Metals‘ Debbie Carlson in a weekly metals outlook article.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 20 responded this week. Of those 20 participants, eight see prices up, while nine see prices down and three see prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical chart analysts," she added.
Silver prices for July delivery declined 36.4 cents, or 1.0 percent, to settle at $34.638 an ounce. Silver ranged between $34.450 and $35.420. The losses on the week bring silver’s yearly increase down to 12.0 percent.
Platinum prices for July delivery fell $16.90, or 1.0 percent, to close at $1,677.60 an ounce. Platinum prices reached their intraday lowest level at $1,675.50 and peaked at $1,719.90.
Palladium prices for September delivery declined $11.85, or 1.6 percent, to settle at $731.50 an ounce. They ranged between $731.10 and $752.85.
Both platinum and palladium have registered losses this year. Platinum has fallen 5.7 percent and palladium has plunged 9.0 percent.
London precious metals prices moved in the same direction as they did in New York. When comparing London fix prices on Friday (PM) from those on Thursday (PM), gold prices declined $8.25 to $1,514.75 an ounce, silver fell $1.28 at $34.73 an ounce, platinum declined $11.00 to $1,696.00 an ounce, and palladium fell $5.00 at $739.00 an ounce.
For the week in London, gold declined 1.5 percent, silver fell 1.9 percent, platinum declined 3.1 percent, and palladium fell 2.0 percent.
United States Mint bullion coin actively was, with the exception of the American Silver Eagle coin, on par with last week. Sales of the Silver Eagle slowed by more than 200,000 as compared to the previous week. However, its current June total of just under 2.6 million is on a pace to handily top the 3 million tally from June 2010. On the other hand, American Gold Eagle sales are significantly slower with total ounces at 45,000. The Mint sold 151,500 ounces by the end of last June.
The latest United States Mint bullion coin sales figures follow. The totals are for coins sold, not ounces.
|US Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||3,000||8,500||8,500||41,500||493,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||0||0||0||55,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||0||2,000||2,000||4,000||60,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||5,000||5,000||25,000||240,000|
|Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||500||1,000||1,500||2,500||77,500|
|Silver Eagle (1 oz.)||0||932K||728.5K||2.5955M||21.497M|
|ATB Silver Bullion (5 oz.)*||0||0||0||0||326,800|
*America the Beautiful (ATB) Silver bullion coin sales figures are not published by the United States Mint daily. The current figure has an "as of date" of June 17.