Gold, Silver Plunge on Week, US Mint Coin Sales Soar


Fine Gold Bars Gold climbed for the first time in five days Friday, but barely cut into losses that accumulated to a staggering 3.8% on the week.

Platinum matched the yellow metal’s sour weekly results while palladium was a smidgen under at 3.7%. Silver nearly doubled that as the poorest performing precious metal this week with prices sinking 7.2%.

On Friday, gold prices for August delivery inched up $1.40, or 0.1%, to $1,566.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold traded through intraday levels of $1,558.60 and $1,573.20.

"When you see slowdown in China and in the United States and the debt crisis accelerate in Europe, it leads people to believe that we will have significant depreciation, especially when commodities and precious metals prices have been so tied into the monetary policy," Reuters quoted Jeffrey Sica, chief investment officer at SICA Wealth Management LLC, which oversees $1 billion in assets.

Aside from a touch on Friday, gold failed to draw safe-haven bids this week even as concerns over the global economy grew. Much of the blame was cast upon disappointment that the Fed extended Operation Twist instead of offering another round of quantitative easing. And with that development, many market analysts and traders who were expecting bullish moves this week have now turned cautious about its direction in the coming days.

Gold Prices Next Week

Bloomberg’s weekly survey was nearly split with 11 participants bullish for gold next week and 10 bearish. Four were neutral. Kitco’s weekly survey reported a "cloudy" outlook.

"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 33 participants, 28 responded this week. Of those 28 participants, 12 see prices up, while nine see prices down, and seven are neutral," reports Kitco.

"Survey participants who see higher prices said they thought the sell-off in prices this week was overdone and that the market will hold support levels…

Those who see weaker prices cited strength in the U.S. dollar which is pressuring commodities across the board. The technical price outlook short-term is also negative, which could weigh on gold."

After the big weekly drop, gold is a mere 10 cents higher on the year.

Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures

In other New York futures on Friday:

  • Silver fell every day this week. On Friday, silver prices for July delivery shed 17.8 cents, or 0.7%, to $26.661 an ounce. The white metal moved between $26.510 and $26.995.

  • Platinum prices for July delivery settled to $1,431.20 an ounce for a loss of $7.40 or 0.5%. Platinum ranged between an intraday low of $1,421.10 and a high of $1,441.60.

  • Palladium prices for September delivery fell $1.35, or 0.2%, to $607.20 an ounce, trading between $605.50 and $612.55.

For the year to date, silver has declined 4.5% and palladium is down 7.5%. Platinum, however, is up 1.9% in 2012.

London Precious Metals

London precious metals declined Friday, marking three straight daily dips which added to severe weekly losses. When comparing the latest London PM fixings:

  • Gold fell $16.50, or 1.0%, to $1,565.50 an ounce,
  • Silver plunged $1.07, or 3.8%, to $26.81 an ounce,
  • Platinum turned down $22.00, or 1.5%, to $1,435.00 an ounce, and
  • Palladium declined $9.00, or 1.5%, to $608.00 an ounce

London precious metals losses this week were 3.8% for gold, 6.5% for silver, 3.9% for platinum and 3.8% for palladium.

U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales

U.S. Mint coin sales benefited from Thursday’s steep drop in gold and silver prices, as distributors were able to make purchases at perceived bargain prices. Bullion coin orders in the last two days more than doubled the amount taken in the previous three.

On a weekly basis, gold coins soared with sales of 24,000 troy ounces as compared to last week’s solid total of 14,500 troy ounces.

The sales pace for silver coins also improved. Between the U.S. Mint’s five ounce America the Beautiful Silver Coins and one ounce American Silver Eagle, sales advanced 720,000 ounces against the prior week’s 632,500 ounces.

The following are the latest daily, weekly, June and year-to-date bullion coin sales totals as published by the U.S. Mint.

US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales
  Daily Gains Prior Weekly Weekly Gain June Gains YTD 2012
$50 American Eagle Gold Coins 9,500 10,500 19,500 40,000 270,000
$25 American Eagle Gold Coins 0 1,000 0 1,000 55,000
$10 American Eagle Gold Coins 2,000 2,000 2,000 4,000 50,000
$5 American Eagle Gold Coins 5,000 0 10,000 15,000 165,000
$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins 1,500 3,000 3,000 7,500 72,500
American Eagle Silver Coins 100,000 623,500 713,500 2,075,000 16,609,000


America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Bullion Silver Coin Sales
  Daily Gains Prior Weekly Weekly Gains June Gains All-Time Total
2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins 0 1,800 1,300 4,300 9,700
2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins 0 0 0 0 85,200
2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins 0 0 0 200 38,600
2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins 0 0 0 0 28,900
TOTAL 0 1,800 1,300 3,500 162,400


Above U.S. Mint bullion coin sales are in coin totals, not the amount of ounces sold.

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