Gold prices dropped three times in five days this week with Friday’s near $11 loss bigger than those logged on Monday or Tuesday. A stronger U.S. dollar and profit-taking were the bearish factors cited on the down days.
On Friday, gold prices for December delivery declined $10.90, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,759.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The yellow metal reached an intraday low of $1,753.50 and hit a high at $1,775.00.
"Gold seems to have had all the juice it’s going to get from the Fed’s announcement last month, and with two weeks to go until the next FOMC meeting, some in the market have decided to take a bit of profit," MarketWatch quoted Ben Traynor, chief economist at BullionVault.
In the end, gold gave back 1.2% this week to the surprise of many analysts who had forecasted gains. That appears to have tempered some of the bullish excitement for next week as there is a divide seen in the latest weekly gold surveys from Kitco Metals and Bloomberg.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 33 participants, 21 responded this week. Of those 21 participants, 10 see prices up, while 9 see prices down, and 2 are neutral or see prices moving sideways," reports Kitco News.
Those who see higher prices point to the recent monetary easing by central banks… Those who see weaker prices cite the market’s inability to take out the $1,800 an ounce level…"
Bloomberg’s gold survey was a tad more bullish with 12 of 27 participants expecting higher prices. Seven were bearish and 8 neutral.
Gold has shot up $192.90, or 12.3%, since the start of January and is poised for a 12th straight annual gain.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
In other New York bullion prices on Friday and for the week:
Silver for December delivery fell 41.3 cents, or 1.2%, to $33.669 an ounce, trading between $33.450 and $34.165. Silver declined 90.3 cents or 2.6% this week.
Platinum for January delivery shed $30.30, or 1.8%, to $1,659.30 an ounce, ranging from $1,654.70 and $1,691.30. For the week, platinum declined $21.10 or 2.8%
- Palladium for December lost $11.85, or 1.8%, to $639.05 an ounce, trading between $633.35 and $653.45. Palladium fell $24.15 or 3.6% this week.
For the year, silver is up 20.6% and platinum is ahead 18.1%. Palladium fell back into the red as it is down 2.6% in 2012.
London Bullion Prices
Like New York precious metals futures, bullion prices in London were lower Friday and for the week. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold declined $2.25, or 0.1%, to $1,766.75 an ounce,
- Silver shed 46.0 cents, or 1.3%, to $33.79 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $3.00, or 0.2%, to $1,678.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium lost $1.00, or 0.2%, to $650.00 an ounce
Second week October losses were 1.0% for gold, 3.0% for silver, 1.9% for platinum and 2.5% for palladium.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales for October and YTD
Demand is down for U.S. Mint bullion coins. Gold coin sales did improve ever so slightly this week, but they are unremarkable compared to last month. Sales of silver coins are extremely sluggish. No gains were reported by the U.S. Mint at all this week until Friday. In breaking down weekly bullion sales:
Gold coins advanced 11,500 ounces against the previous week’s 11,000 ounces. Splits were 8,500 ounces in 22-karat American Eagle gold coins and 3,000 ounces of 24-karat American Buffalo gold coins.
Silver coins rose by a mere 177,500 ounces versus the prior week’s 1,233,000 ounces. Splits were 175,000 ounces of American Silver Eagles and 2,500 ounces of America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins — the latter’s first entry on the October sales boards.
The following table provides the most recent daily, weekly, October and year-to-date bullion sales figures as provided by the U.S. Mint.
|Sales of US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Sales||Prior Week||Weekly Sales||October Sales||YTD 2012|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins||8,500||7,500||8,500||16,000||426,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||0||0||0||61,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||0||0||0||62,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||10,000||0||10,000||260,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins||3,000||2,500||3,000||5,500||102,000|
|American Eagle Silver Coins||175,000||1,233,000||175,000||1,408,000||27,203,000|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins|
|Daily Sales||Prior Week||Weekly Sales||All-Time Total|
|2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||17,900|
|2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||17,200|
|2012 Acadia National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||500||0||500||18,500|
|2012 Hawai’i Volcanoes 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||10,400|
|2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||85,900|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||39,500|
|2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||29,700|
In coin news for collectors, the U.S. Mint on Wednesday, October 3, suspended sales of more than a dozen silver coins as their melt values were getting closer to their listed prices. These products returned to availability this past Wednesday, October 10, at higher prices. Their sales were stunted by the suspensions, except for the 2012-W Proof Silver Eagle which still logged remarkably high gains.