Gold, Silver Mark Weekly Gains; Bullion Eagle Coins Sluggish


Fine Gold BarsU.S. gold and silver rallied Friday, capping two consecutive weekly gains as gold advanced 2.9 percent and silver surged 3.8 percent.

The final trading day of the week had gold rising, opined analysts, as stocks and other riskier bets blossomed following news that U.S. consumers spent more than expected in September and on improved optimism that Europe’s debt crisis would be contained.

On Friday, gold prices advanced $14.50, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $1,683.00 an ounce in the December futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold traded between $1,662.50 and $1,685.50.

"The correlation between gold and risk assets is going to trade fairly in tandem because they are working on the same catalyst — the notion that easy monetary policy in Europe is going to lift equities and also gold," Reuters quoted Sean McGillivray, head of asset allocation in Great Pacific Wealth Management.

Forecasts remain higher for gold prices next week, according to the weekly gold survey conducted by Kitco News.

"Most participants in Kitco News’ weekly Gold Survey expect to see higher gold prices next week, suggesting seasonal trends and a better sentiment regarding the U.S. and the European Union will support prices.

In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 25 responded this week. Of those 25 participants, 21 see prices up, while three see prices down and one sees prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical chart analysts.

Several participants who see higher prices said stabilization for the near-term in Europe, now that Slovakia passed the European Financial Stability Facility, and… "

Kitco’s survey last week had 16 participants correctly forecast higher gold prices for this week (three had expected lower prices and four expected them sideways or unchanged).

Gold continues to be the best performing precious metal in 2011 with its gain of $261.60, or 18.4 percent.

Weekly Increases in other Precious Metals Futures

Silver tracked hold higher Friday, rising four out of five days this week. Silver prices for December delivery rose 50.6 cents, or 1.6 percent, to close at $32.173 an ounce. Silver touched an intraday low of $31.210 and reached a high at $32.565.

Silver had easily led precious metals for most of the year until prices plunged nearly $11 in the third week of September. Silver’s $1.18 increase this week brought it up $1.24, or 4.0 percent, in 2011.

PGM’s moved higher Friday and on the week. Platinum prices for January delivery advanced $22.50, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $1,554.90 an ounce. Prices ranged from $1,530.00 to $1,564.60. Platinum for the week gained $61.30, or 5.9 percent. That is more than double the amount it lost last week (-$30.30).

Palladium prices for December delivery rallied $26.45, or 4.5 percent, to close at $620.55 an ounce, trading from $590.30 to $623.50. Palladium gained $34.70, or 5.9 percent, this week.

Recent platinum-group metals gains cut into their 2011 loses, slightly. For the year, platinum has fallen $223.30, or 12.6 percent, while palladium has given up $182.95, or 22.8 percent.

London Precious Metals

While precious metals in New York futures rose Friday and for the week, they were mixed for both time frames in London. When comparing London Fix prices on Friday (PM) from those on Thursday (PM):

  • Gold advanced $22.00 to $1,678.00 an ounce
  • Silver declined 15.0 cents to $31.82 an ounce
  • Platinum advanced $18.00 to $1,553.00 an ounce
  • Palladium advanced $10.00 to $614.00 an ounce

Silver was the single major metal to fall this week with a 0.5 percent loss. Other precious metals registering weekly increases include gold and platinum, each at 1.6 percent, and palladium with a pick-up of 0.8 percent.

U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Weekly Sales

Gains in U.S. Mint bullion coins were strained this week. Sales of Silver Eagles, in particular, were exceedingly slow. U.S. Mint authorized purchasers ordered less than 270,000 during the entire week — a level lower than when demand crawled at a snail’s pace during the first weeks in September.

Sales for the one-ounce Gold Eagle bullion coin slowed as well. They climbed 6,000 for the week, their weakest advance since the week ending September 16. The fractional sized Gold Eagle coins came in with zero pick-ups, but that is somewhat typical outside the first week of a month.

In related U.S. Mint news but on the collector side of the equation, the one-ounce Gold Eagle proof coin sold out Friday. The coin is still available with a four-coin set, but the price-point for that is much higher at $3,585.50.

The latest daily, weekly and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures follow:

Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins
  Daily Gains Prior Weekly Weekly Gains October Gains YTD 2011
Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 2,000 21,500 6,000 27,500 787,500
Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 0 2,000 0 2,000 64,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 4,000 0 4,000 76,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 0 0 0 345,000
Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 1,000 5,000 4,500 9,500 142,000
Silver Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 50,000 1,662,000 268,000 1,930,000 35,341,500


Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins*
Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 126,700
Glacier National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 126,700
Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 82,200
Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 30,500
Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 20,500
TOTAL 388,700


*The as of date for sales of U.S. Mint America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins is Wednesday, October 12, 2011. The Mint does not publish daily sales for its 5-ounce coins.

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