Gold rose slightly Friday but stayed below the psychological support level of $1,700 an ounce and logged a third straight week of declines.
Gold for February delivery inched up 20.0 cents to $1,697.00 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Friday was "a rather uninspiring day for gold," Reuters quoted James Steel, analyst at HSBC in New York. "I think a lot of money is sidelined until the end of the year."
The precious metal this week fell $8.50, or 0.5%, with the biggest loss on Thursday when prices sank $21.10. Directional signals for prices next week are more mixed, based on weekly gold surveys.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 33 participants, 26 responded this week. Of those 26 participants, 12 see prices up, while five see prices down and nine are neutral or see prices moving sideways," Kitco News reported.
"Those who see higher prices said they expect gold will bounce off the lows established around November at $1,675 an ounce as they expect buying interest will materialize there. They remain bullish on gold even after the metal’s surprise sell-off after this week’s announcement by the Federal Open Market Committee to add monetary stimulus to the U.S. economy…"
Bloomberg’s gold survey was more bullish with sixteen participants expecting higher gold prices next week, nine seeing them lower and three neutral.
With one full week of trading left in 2012, gold prices so far this year have advanced $130.20, or 8.3%.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
In other New York precious metals futures on Friday and for the week:
March silver ended at $32.299 an ounce, falling 5.6 cents or 0.2%. Silver was off on the week by 83.2 cents, or 2.5%. Like gold, it has declined for three consecutive weeks.
Platinum for January delivery settled up $1.70, or 0.1%, to $1,614.50 an ounce, trading between $1,603.20 and $1,633.00. Platinum this week added $7.50, or 0.5%, posting a second straight weekly gain.
- March palladium advanced $10.40, or 1.5%, to $702.05 an ounce, trading between $680.25 and $696.25. Palladium moved ahead on the week by $4.05, or 0.6%. Its streak of weekly wins increased to seven.
For the year-to-date, bullion advances include 15.7% for silver, 14.9% for platinum and 7.0% for palladium.
Precious Metals in London
Precious metals in London saw mixed fixings Friday and for the week. When comparing the latest London PM Fix prices:
- Gold added $3.50, or 0.2%, to $1,696.25 an ounce,
- Silver lost 17.0 cents, 0.5%, to $32.52 an ounce,
- Platinum gained $6.00, or 0.4%, to $1,613.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium fell $18.00, or 2.6%, to $700.00 an ounce
For the week, silver declined 1.0% and gold slipped 0.3% while platinum advanced 0.8% and palladium climbed 0.3%.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
Sales levels for U.S. Mint bullion coins hit multi-week lows. In a breakdown of weekly sales:
Gold coins reached 11,500 ounces with splits of 9,000 ounces in 22-karat American Eagle gold coins and 2,500 ounces of 24-karat American Buffalo gold coins. The overall total was the weakest since the week ending October 26.
Silver coins hit 500,000 ounces, all coming from sales of American Eagle silver coins. The total was the lowest since the week ending November 23.
U.S. Mint bullion sales on Friday, for the week, December and year-to-date follow.
|US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date||Dec Sales||YTD 2012|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins||1,000||24,500||9,000||33,500||627,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||2,000||0||2,000||70,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||4,000||0||4,000||74,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||0||0||0||315,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins||2,500||4,000||2,500||6,500||130,500|
|American Silver Eagle Coin||0||903,000||500,000||1,403,000||33,510,500|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date||Dec Sales||All-Time Total|
|2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||2,000||0||2,000||21,900|
|2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2012 Acadia National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||25,400|
|2012 Hawai’i Volcanoes 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2012 Denali National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||85,900|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||39,500|
|2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||29,700|
Sales above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the weight of the coin.
In related U.S. Mint coin news, the bureau this week released its preliminary 2013 product schedule.