Gold Logs 2nd Straight Weekly Loss, American Eagle Coins Mixed


Fine Gold Bars Gold declined Friday, securing a second straight weekly loss along with other precious metals. Gold prices fell in four of the last five days as investors’ instead favored the U.S. dollar which extended its winning streak to ten sessions.

"When the market gets very nervous, then they (investors) buy dollars and gold finds it difficult to rally," Bloomberg quoted Jesper Dannesboe, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London. "Given what’s going on in the markets at the moment, any rally will probably just be a bounce before another setback."

Weekly precious metals losses were 3.7% for gold, 5.1% for silver, 4.2% for platinum and 7.5% for palladium.

On Friday, gold prices for June delivery declined $11.50, or 0.7%, to $1,584.00 an ounce on the Comex in New York, trading between an intraday low of $1,572.00 and a high of $1,595.20.

Gold Expectations For Next Week Are Divided

Sentiment over the direction of gold prices next week is a bit more evenly divided among analysts, based on recent gold surveys. Bloomberg results have 14 of 32 survey participants anticipating higher gold prices next week — the least bullish attitude in five weeks. 12 are bearish and 6 are neutral. Kitco’s results are just as split.

"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 33 participants, 24 responded this week. Of those 24 participants, nine see prices up, while seven see prices down, and eight are neutral," reports Kitco.

Those who see higher prices said gold is due for a rebound after this week’s sharp losses. Several called gold oversold, along with the broader market.

Those who see weaker prices said there’s little around to support prices at current levels and that momentum is lower…"

Gold on Friday closed to its lowest point this year, with its 2012 gain of 1.1% coming solely from the increase over its $1,566.80 an ounce settlement price on the final trading day of last year.

In other metal futures prices on Friday:

  • Silver prices for July delivery settled down 28.8 cents, or 1.0%, to $28.890 an ounce, ranging from $28.415 to $29.100.

  • Platinum prices for July delivery declined $22.40, or 1.5%, to $1,471.40 an ounce, trading between $1,461.00 and $1,489.60.

  • Palladium prices for June delivery shed $11.95, or 1.9%, to $603.40 an ounce, ranging from $599.50 to $616.50.

For 2012 so far, silver has climbed 3.5%, platinum has gained 4.7% and palladium has fallen 8.0%.

London Precious Metal

Like metal futures in New York, London precious metals were also lower Friday and on the week. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:

  • Gold fell $15.50, or 1.0%, to $1,583.00 an ounce,
  • Silver lost 67.0 cents, or 2.3%, at $28.58 an ounce,
  • Platinum shed $24.00, or 1.6%, to $1,466.00 an ounce, and
  • Palladium declined $15.00, or 2.4%, at $605.00 an ounce

Weekly losses were 3.7% for gold, 4.4% for silver, 4.2% for platinum and 8.7% for palladium.

U.S. Mint Bullion Coins

More consistency was seen this week from major U.S. Mint bullion coins, with both American Silver Eagles and American Gold Eagles registering sales gains in four of the last five days. But performances between the two are mixed so far this month.

Gold Eagles could not keep up with their furious prior weekly pick-up of 20,000, but they still advanced a solid 11,500 for a currently monthly total of 31,500 — already the third best month in 2012 and on pace to triple the amount sold in April.

Silver Eagles on the other hand look like they want to challenge for the worst monthly total since February 2008. Although Silver Eagles sales improved this week, their May total stands at a sluggish 510,000. Over 3.65 million were sold in May of 2011 with more than 6.1 million ordered as recently as January.

The following are the available daily, weekly, May and year-to-date bullion coin sales totals as reported by the U.S. Mint.

U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales
  Daily Gains Prior Weekly Weekly Gain May Gains YTD 2012
American Gold Eagle Coins (1 oz.) 1,000 20,000 11,500 31,500 212,500
American Gold Eagle Coins (1/2 oz.) 0 0 0 0 51,000
American Gold Eagle Coins (1/4 oz.) 0 0 0 0 42,000
American Gold Eagle Coins (1/10 oz.) 0 0 0 0 135,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 0 1,000 1,000 56,500
American Silver Eagle Coins 75,000 300,000 410,000 510,000 12,169,000


America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales
  Prior Weekly Weekly Gains All-Time Total
Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coins 0 0 85,100
Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coins 0 0 38,300
Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coins 0 0 28,900
TOTAL 0 0 152,300


All coin sales figures in the above tables are in number of coins, not in the amount of ounces sold. The U.S. Mint last updated five ounce bullion silver coins sold on Monday, April 9, indicating none have sold since.

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It was a rough week for precious metals but should it have been? The dollar is strengthening but how long will that last as the debt of the US dwarfs most European countries. Is there long term opportunity in this weakness in metals is a question worth pondering.