Gold ended the week at its lowest price since mid-July, though its weekly loss totaled to only 50 cents.
Falling Friday for a third straight day, gold futures for April delivery settled down $5.80, or 0.4%, to $1,572.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Gold rallied on Monday and Tuesday to reach $1615.50 an ounce, but investors switched gears to riskier bets on Wednesday. On Thursday, gold logged is fifth monthly decline as it ended down 5% for February.
"The surging U.S. dollar is an issue, and persistently higher demand for equities are some of the pressure points on gold," MarketWatch quoted Richard Hastings, macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities.
Gold surveys have leaned toward the bearish side in recent weeks. Expectations for gold prices next week are a bit more evenly split based on the newest surveys.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 33 participants, 29 responded this week. Of those 29 participants, 13 see prices up, while eight see prices down, and eight see prices moving sideways or are neutral," reports Kitco News.
"Those who see higher prices said gold could be forming a potential bottom around the $1,550s, which if it holds, could portend higher prices… Participants who see weaker prices cite the market’s inability to hold over $1,600 an ounce and the bearish short-term technical chart picture for gold."
Bloomberg’s survey has 15 participants expecting higher gold prices in the coming days. Fourteen were bearish and three were neutral.
Gold has declined $103.50, or 6.2%, for the year to date, leading losses among precious metals.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
In other New York bullion futures on Friday and for the week:
Silver for May delivery added 5.8 cents, or 0.2%, to $28.49 an ounce. The white metal eked out a weekly gain of 3 cents, or 0.1%. Silver was the single precious metal higher from a week ago.
April platinum fell $10.00, or 0.6%, to $1,573.50 an ounce. That placed the PGM metal down this week by $33.90, or 2.1%.
- Palladium for June delivery plunged $14.15, or 1.9%, to $720.40 an ounce. It declined $14.90, or 2%, from a week ago.
For the year to date, silver is off 5.7% while platinum and platinum have marked respective gains of 2.0% and 2.4%.
London Bullion Prices
Precious metals in London retreated Friday. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fixings:
- Gold dipped $6.25, or 0.4%, to $1,582.25 an ounce,
- Silver declined 94.0 cents, or 3.2%, to $28.01 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $19.00, or 1.2%, to $1,579.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium lost $23.00, or 3.1%, to $721.00 an ounce
For the week, gold edged up 0.4% while the other precious metals declined. Those losses tallied to 2.7% for silver, 2.0% for platinum and 1.5% for palladium.
US Bullion Coin Sales in March
U.S. Mint bullion coin sales this week were about on par with the solid sales of last week. In weekly breakdowns:
Gold bullion coin sales totaled 24,000 ounces compared to the previous weekly total of 26,000 ounces. Splits were 21,500 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles and 2,500 ounces in 24-karat American Buffalo gold coins.
- Silver bullion coin sales reached 943,500 compared to the prior week’s 936,000 ounces. Splits across the 99.9% pure silver coins were 822,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles and 121,500 ounces in America the Beautiful 5 oz. coins.
In other bullion coin news, next week the U.S. Mint is set to give Congress its study on Palladium Eagles. If the study shows that the U.S. Mint can produce and issue them at no net cost to taxpayers, .9995 pure American Palladium Eagle bullion coins would be available within a year.
Sales for current U.S. Mint bullion coins follow.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||March Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||4,000||14,000||20,000||4,000||196,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||2,000||1,000||0||22,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||6,000||2,000||0||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||35,000||5,000||0||180,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||0||6,000||2,500||0||84,000|
|American Silver Eagle Coins||0||903,000||822,000||0||10,866,500|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||March Sales||All-Time Sales|
|2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,600||0||0||24,000|
|2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||600||1,200||2,600||600||24,400|
|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||104,900|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||10,400||0||12,400||10,400||58,100|
|2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||8,800||3,800||9,300||8,800||48,700|
All bullion figures above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the bullion coin’s weight.