Gold fell nearly $8 Friday, snapping a two-session winning streak and pulling the yellow metal down for a fifth straight weekly loss — this latest one the smallest of the lot at 0.3%.
Other precious metals also shifted lower Friday, but palladium still managed a 2.6% pick-up during the holiday-shortened week in which thin trading was the norm and other metals fell. Platinum led weekly declines, falling 1.0%. Silver followed with a loss of 0.8% to extend its own losing streak to five weeks.
On Friday, gold for February delivery shed $7.80, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,655.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Strength in the greenback, the fiscal cliff conundrum and year-end profit-taking weighed on markets.
"What we’re seeing is lot of profit-taking by people who’ve made pretty good money on gold over the last couple of years," MarketWatch recounted comments from Ed Moy, chief strategist at Morgan Gold and former director of the U.S. Mint.
Also, "investors are really concerned about what their tax situation is going to look like for 2013," he said, pointing to uncertainty about whether lawmakers will reach a deal to avert tax increases and spending cuts set for Jan. 1. "Just knowing all the talk about raising capital-gains and personal-income taxes — people are profit-taking."
Bloomberg notes that gold’s string of weekly losses is the longest such run since January 2010. Despite that, Bloomberg also reports that its weekly gold survey is the most bullish since August 24. Fifteen participants expect prices to advance next week compared to one who is bearish. Three were neutral. Kitco’s weekly gold survey nearly paralleled bets placed last Friday.
"Out of 33 participants, 19 responded this week. Twelve see prices up, while four see prices down and three see prices sideways or unchanged…
Several cited potential for a ‘dead-cat bounce’ or a rebound from what they saw as ‘oversold’ conditions. Comex gold hit a four-month low last week before range trading this week in thin holiday conditions. Some suggested buyers currently on the sidelines may be looking to wade back into the market at the start of the New Year."
Gold is off 3.3% for the month, yet still 5.7% higher for the year.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
In other New York precious metals futures on Friday and for the year:
March silver shed 26.5 cents, or 0.9%, to close at $29.975 an ounce. Silver has gained $2.06, or 7.4%, this year.
Platinum for April delivery settled to $1,521.60 an ounce, dropping $14.40, or 0.9%. The precious metal has advanced $116.70, or 8.3%, in 2012.
March palladium lost $8.20, or 1.2%, to $700.30 an ounce. The metal has climbed $44.15, or 6.7%, this year.
Precious Metals Prices in London
Action in London was limited with markets shortened Monday and then closed on Tuesday and Wednesday in observance of Christmas. When comparing the latest London PM Fix prices:
- Gold added $2.00, or 0.1%, to $1,657.50 an ounce,
- Silver gained 40.0 cents, or 1.3%, to $30.15 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $9.00, or 0.6%, to $1,527.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium advanced $4.00, or 0.6%, to $704.00 an ounce
For December so far, metals with losses are gold at 4.0%, silver at 12.0% and platinum at 5.3%. Palladium is the outlier, up 2.8% for the month.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
The final week of the year was not unlike last year for U.S. Mint bullion coins. Buying activity was weak with little incentive for Mint distributors to place orders until the new 2013-dated issues launch. A single advance occurred on Wednesday with the one-ounce American Eagle gold coin rising 2,500. U.S. Mint distributors can order the new 2013-dated Gold Eagles on January 2, 2013.
Sales of the Mint’s most popular bullion product, the American Eagle silver coin, have been static since this year’s issues sold out on the 17th. Mint buyers can place orders for the new 2013-dated Silver Eagles on January 7, 2013.
Sales on the day, for the week-to-date, 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 Bullion Coins||0||30,500||2,500||66,500||660,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||1,000||0||3,000||71,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||0||6,000||76,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||315,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||1,500||0||8,000||132,000|
|American Eagle Silver Coin*||N/A||232,000||N/A||1,635,000||33,742,500|
|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||0||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|
Coin sales figures shown above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the bullion coin’s weight.