U.S. gold futures jumped to a record above $1,800 an ounce Friday, extending its streak of record settlements to four sessions, its string of wins to five days and its successive weekly gains to seven.
Gold prices surged 6.3 percent this week, supported by global economic fears which pounded stocks and drove investors toward safe-haven buys like gold.
"Gold is driven by the uncertainty about a new global recession … and the possibility that Europe will engage in additional quantitative easing," Reuters quotes James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Financial Asset Management, which oversees $200 million in assets. "While an expected correction could be violent, I don’t think it may last too long."
On Friday, December gold prices surged $30.20, or 1.7 percent, to close at a new record high of $1,852.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold prices ranged from $1,824.50 and $1,881.40 — also an intraday record high. The yellow metal has rallied $430.80, or 30.3 percent, in 2011.
"We could hit $2,000 as early as next week sometime at this rate, certainly in the next weeks," Matt Zeman, head trader and strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, was quoted on MarketWatch. "It is starting to look a little bit bubbly."
Forecasts weigh toward higher gold prices for next week, according to Kitco Metals Inc’s weekly gold survey.
"The sharp rally to consecutive all-time nominal highs for gold prices on the back of concerns over problems in the European Union banks and dismal economic data this week in the U.S. has participants in the weekly Kitco News Gold Survey generally looking for higher prices.
In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 21 responded this week. Of those 21 participants, 19 see prices up, while two see prices down, and none see prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical chart analysts.
Most traders who expect to see higher prices said people are seeking a safe-haven in the fresh concerns over the European banking system and until the situation there is seen as less dire, gold will find support."
Weekly Gains in other Precious Metals Futures
Other precious metals advanced on the week as well. Palladium rose a modest 0.1 percent, but silver gained 8.5 percent and platinum added 4.4 percent.
On Friday, September silver prices soared $1.744, or 4.3 percent, to settle at $42.432 an ounce — its best level since May 3. Silver traded between $40.560 and $42.860. The white metal’s surge puts it up $11.495, or 37.2 percent, this year.
Platinum prices for October delivery rose $27.20, or 1.5 percent, to $1,874.90 an ounce, trading from $1,842.50 to $1,882.10. Platinum has gained 5.4 percent in 2011.
Palladium prices for September delivery declined $8.20, or 1.1 percent, to close at $748.80 an ounce, ranging from $741.10 to $761.95. Palladium is the only precious metal that has not gained this year. Its latest losses bring it down 6.8 percent in 2011.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals were mixed on the day but all were higher on the week. London Fix price comparisons between Friday (PM) and Thursday (PM) show that:
- Gold prices advanced $24.00 to $1,848.00 an ounce,
- Silver rose $1.66 at $41.98 an ounce,
- Platinum advanced $19.00 to $1,855.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $16.00 at $750.00 an ounce.
For the week, gains were largest for silver at 9.6 percent followed by gold at 6.5 percent. In PGM metals, platinum rose 3.1 percent while palladium increased a modest 0.4 percent.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Weekly Sales
Sales of United States Mint bullion coins have remained unchanged since Wednesday, due, more likely, to the lack of a human updating the figures versus none having been sold. Reported buying activity from Monday through Wednesday was solid, as shown in the product sales figures below:
|Sales of US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||0||41,000||26,500||76,500||645,500|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||0||1,000||3,000||61,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||0||2,000||0||4,000||68,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||25,000||5,000||40,000||305,000|
|Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||8,000||7,000||17,500||109,000|
|Silver Eagles (1 oz.)||0||891K||815.5K||2.1345M||27.406M|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins*|
|Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz.||126,700|
|Glacier National Park 5 oz.||126,700|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz.||80,700|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz.||27,500|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz.||15,200|
*The Gettysburg and Glacier America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins are sold out. Unlike other investment-grade products, the United States Mint does not provide daily per coin sales totals for the Olympic, Vicksburg, and Chickasaw America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. Their individual totals are as of August 2. The five ounce combined coin totals above (last line) are as of August 15. The figure represents an increase of 1,800 from the previous seven days, which was the same increase as the previous week.
In related United States Mint news, the bureau this week raised gold coin prices again, and it also suspended the sale of two silver sets.