Gold, silver and other precious metals rebounded Thursday with bargain hunters stepping in after commodities went through a trouncing in the previous session amid realization that the Fed was less keen on embracing another round of quantitative easing.
Thursday’s gains, however, lacked sufficient weight to pull precious metals into the black for the holiday-shortened trading week. Weekly losses included gold at 2.5%, silver at 2.3%, platinum at 2.2% and palladium at 1.4%.
"A lot of the gold trade by hedge funds was specifically tied to a new round of Fed stimulus," Reuters quoted Jeffrey Sica, chief investment officer of SICA Wealth Management with more than $1 billion in assets.
"If there is any perception that momentum in gold will taper, hedge funds will take the opportunity to sell. Gold is always vulnerable because of how well it has done," he said.
After plunging nearly $58 Wednesday and closing to its lowest price since January 10, gold recovered a bit on Thursday. Gold prices for June delivery rose $16.00, or 1.0%, to $1,630.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices traded from an intraday low of $1,620.70 to a high of $1,634.80. Gold has gained $63.30, or 4.0%, in 2012.
Gold Prices Mixed to Bearish Next Week
New surveys are more bearish for gold prices next week after a modest majority of participants in surveys last week had incorrectly expected higher prices for this week.
"There’s no clear majority among survey participants in the weekly Kitco News Gold Survey for the price direction for the yellow metal next week as views are largely split," reports Kitco.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 33 participants, 24 responded this week. Of those 24 participants, eight see prices up, while nine see prices down, and seven are neutral…"
Part of the hesitancy stems from the U.S. jobs data being released on Friday when the bullion markets are closed for the Easter holiday, which means the markets will have a delayed reaction…"
In the weekly Bloomberg survey, 15 of 29 analysts expect lower gold prices next week. 9 are bullish and 5 are neutral. It was the first bearish-majority survey results collected by Bloomberg this year.
Silver prices for May delivery rallied 68.6 cents, or 2.2%, to $31.730 an ounce, moving between $31.175 and $31.810.
Platinum prices for July delivery added $9.00, or 0.6%, to $1,607.60 an ounce, ranging from $1,590.20 to $1,611.20.
Palladium prices for June delivery advanced $12.05, or 1.9%, to $644.80 an ounce, trading between $629.90 and $646.00.
For the year, silver has advanced 13.7%, platinum has gained 14.4% and palladium has declined 1.7%.
London Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals continued their trend lower Thursday, with the exception of gold which rose modestly. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold gained $10.00, or 0.6%, to $1,631.00 an ounce,
- Silver fell 71.0 cents, or 2.2%, to $31.27 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $24.00, or 1.5%, to $1,592.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $12.00, or 1.9%, to $635.00 an ounce
For the week, gold fell 1.9%, silver lost 3.6%, platinum stepped back 2.9% and palladium retreated 2.5%.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
With zero bullion coin sales additions published by the U.S. Mint since Tuesday, it would appear buyers are either vacationing or the Mint is uncharacteristically failing to update its sales figures. The following are the available daily, weekly, April and year-to-date bullion coin sales totals as provided by the U.S. Mint.
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Gains||Prior Weekly||Weekly/April Gains||YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagles (1 oz.)||0||18,000||3,500||165,500|
|American Gold Eagles (1/2 oz.)||0||0||0||51,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/4 oz.)||0||0||0||40,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/10 oz.)||0||10,000||5,000||135,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||3,000||3,000||49,500|
|American Silver Eagles||0||405,000||320,000||10,459,000|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Bullion Silver Coins|
|Prior Weekly||Weekly Gains||All-Time Total|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||200||0||85,100|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||200||0||38,300|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||0||0||28,700|
All bullion sales in the above tables are in number of coins sold, not in the amount of ounces sold. The U.S. Mint has not sold five ounce bullion silver coins since Monday, March 26.