Gold prices declined 0.9% this week, bucking expectations of many analysts who had forecasted higher prices before the week’s start. Gold, silver, other commodities and stocks were driven lower towards the end of the week as the U.S. dollar became the investment choice when drama ensued over Greece bailout negotiations.
"Gains in the U.S. dollar and consistent disappointment from the European Union regarding the Greece debt deal are curbing any gains in gold," Reuters quoted Pradeep Unni, senior analyst at Richcomm Global Services.
In closing Friday, gold prices declined $15.90, or 0.9%, to $1,725.30 an ounce in the April futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold moved from an intraday low of $1,706.40 to a high of $1,737.20.
Gold Expectations for Next Week
In dollar terms, gold lost $15.00 for the week after rising $8.10 last week. The majority of participants in two major surveys expect higher gold prices next week.
"Most participants in the Kitco News Gold Survey expect gold prices to rise next week, but stay roughly in the current price range," reports Kitco News.
In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 32 participants, 24 responded this week. Of those 24 participants, 13 see prices up, while 7 see prices down, and 4 are neutral on prices…
Those who see prices higher said momentum is continuing to carry gold prices up, along with underlying accommodative monetary policy."
In Bloomberg’s weekly survey, 12 participants were bullish, 5 were bearish and 7 remained neutral.
Gold lost just a bit of its luster after the first weekly loss of the year. Prices are up $158.50, or 10.1%, in 2012.
Silver, Platinum, and Palladium Futures
In other precious metals futures in New York, silver prices for March delivery ended down 31.3 cents, or 0.9%, to $33.604 an ounce. Silver’s low point was at $33.170 while its high was at $34.060. Silver dipped 0.4% (-15 cents) this week, but remains higher on the year by $5.689, or 20.4%. It is the best performing precious metal.
Platinum prices for April delivery fell $7.80, or 0.5%, to $1,659.80 an ounce, ranging from $1,631.80 to $1,663.40. Platinum surged 1.7% (+$27.90) this week, and it has advanced 18.1% (+$254.90) in 2012.
Palladium prices for March delivery declined $8.25, or 1.2%, to $703.05 an ounce, trading between $694.60 and $711.10. Palladium fell 0.8% (-$5.80) this week, lowering its 2012 pick-up to 7.1% (+$46.90).
London Precious Metals
London precious metals moved in the same direction on Friday and for the week as metals futures in New York. When comparing the London PM fixings between Thursday and Friday:
- Gold dropped $36.50, or 2.1, to $1,711.50 an ounce,
- Silver declined 25.0 cents, or 0.7%, to $33.55 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $21.00, or 1.3%, to $1,638.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium fell $16.00, or 2.2%, to $697.00 an ounce
Platinum was the single precious metal to rise on the week, advancing 0.5%. Weekly losses included 1.3% for gold, 1.1% for silver and 2.0% for palladium.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
Although zero bullion coin gains were published by the U.S. Mint on Thursday and Friday, weekly sales mostly improved over the previous one. The one ounce American Gold Eagle gained 7,000 versus the prior 6,000 and the popular American Silver Eagle climbed 615,000 against 505,000.
On the flip side, demand was down for the American Gold Buffalo with its weekly up-tick of 1,500 compared to the prior 2,500.
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||Feb. Gains||YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagles (1 oz.)||0||6,000||7,000||8,000||92,500|
|American Gold Eagles (1/2 oz.)||0||0||0||0||49,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/4 oz.)||0||0||2,000||2,000||40,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/10 oz.)||0||10,000||0||0||85,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||2,500||1,500||1,500||15,000|
|American Silver Eagles||0||505,000||615,000||710,000||6,817,000|
|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 latest five-ounce sales were provided by the U.S. Mint on Friday, January 27, 2012. The Mint does not publish daily sales figures for its five-ounce silver coins. Although, since the last released date is more than two weeks past, there likely has not been new sales to report.