Gold prices rose 0.5% this week despite a $19 loss on Friday which was triggered by a stronger than expected U.S. jobs report. Said report showed that the unemployment rate fell to 8.3% — the lowest level since February 2009 — from the 8.5% reading in December.
"The jobs report has taken the market’s anticipation of additional quantitative easing off the table," Reuters quoted Frank McGhee, head precious metals trader of Integrated Brokerage Services LLC.
"With the bonds yields and short-term interest rates jumping off the report, you could see more profit-taking in gold beyond just today and into the next several sessions," McGhee said.
In closing Friday, gold prices declined 1.1% to $1,740.30 an ounce in the April futures contract on the Comex in New York. Prices traded as low as $1,726.20 and as high as $1,765.90.
Gold Prices Expected Higher Next Week, Say Surveys
Gold’s modest $8.10 weekly pick-up contrasts against its soaring $68.20 increase last week. Not all market-watchers are expecting deeper profit-taking for gold in the following days, as McGhee states is possible. In fact, two major weekly surveys have the majority of participants forecasting higher gold prices next week.
"Most survey participants in Kitco News’ Gold Survey are expecting gold prices to continue to climb next week, building on recent momentum," reports Kitco News.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 32 participants, 24 responded this week. Of those 24 participants, 14 see prices up, while seven see prices down, and three are neutral on prices…
Those who see higher prices expect the bullish trend to continue as gold has put in five weeks of gains, while those who expect price weakness said the market is due for a correction…"
In Bloomberg’s weekly gold survey, 20 participants were bullish, 8 felt bearish and 3 remained neutral.
Gold prices have gained $173.50, or 11.1%, in 2012.
Silver, Platinum, and Palladium Futures
In other precious metals, silver prices for March delivery fell 42.6 cents, or 1.2%, to $33.749 an ounce. It moved between $33.310 and $34.390. Silver edged down 4 cents this week, keeping its yearly gain nearly unchanged at $5.834, or 20.9%.
Platinum prices for April delivery climbed $2.00, or 0.1%, to $1,631.90 an ounce, ranging from $1,616.17 to $1,638.70. Platinum rose 0.5% (+$8.90) for the week and is up 16.2% (+$227.00) for the year.
Palladium prices for March delivery added $1.20 or 0.2%, to $708.85 an ounce, trading between $704.95 and $717.00. Palladium rallied 2.7% (+$18.70) this week, and it has gained 8.0% (+$52.70) in 2012.
London Precious Metals
Three of four major precious metals gained in London on Friday over Thursday. When comparing the London PM fixings between both days:
- Gold declined $17.00, or 1.0, to $1,734.00 an ounce,
- Silver gained 26.0 cents, or 0.8%, to $33.93 an ounce,
- Platinum advanced $10.00, or 0.6%, to $1,630.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $13.00, or 1.9%, to $711.00 an ounce
All London precious metals rose over last Friday’s prices with weekly gains of 1.3% for gold, 0.5% for silver, 1.4% for platinum and 3.9% for palladium.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
Bullion coins were mostly silent Friday, according to the latest sales from the U.S. Mint. The single bullion product to gain was the Silver Eagle, up 50,000. Its weekly performance improved 505,000 over the previous 400,000. Both of these amounts are modest compared to the soaring gains registered during the first couple of weeks in January.
As for gold bullion this week, demand was stronger for the Mint’s smallest tenth-ounce Gold Eagle and one ounce Gold Buffalo. The Mint’s other sized Gold Eagles slipped for the week versus last. The latest U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures below show their week-over-week differences.
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Gains||Prior Weekly||Weekly Gains||YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||0||12,000||6,000||85,500|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||3,000||0||49,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||0||6,000||0||38,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||0||10,000||85,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||1,500||2,500||13,500|
|American Silver Eagle||50,000||400,000||505,000||6,202,000|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins|
|Prior Weekly||Weekly Gains||All-Time Total|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||0||0||84,600|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||1,000||0||37,300|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||700||0||28,100|
All bullion coin totals in the above tables are in the number of coins sold, not the amount of ounces. The U.S. Mint does not publish daily sales figures for its five-ounce silver coins. The latest five-ounce sales were provided on Friday, January 27, 2012.