Gold prices returned to below $1,400 an ounce Friday, one day after surging above the level for the first time in more than two weeks. Though gold still posted a weekly gain, it logged its seventh monthly decline in the last eight months.
On Friday, gold for August delivery fell $19.00, or 1.4%, to settle at $1,393.00 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices climbed 0.5% higher than a week ago, trimming just a tad from a decline in May that totaled 5.4%. Gold gained on days when the dollar weakened and fell when it showed strength.
"The dollar is strong, so that’s pushing down gold again," Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview relayed on Bloomberg. "We had a small technical rally earlier, but at the end of the day, these rallies seem to be more about hope than reality."
Gold prices have advanced for two straight weeks. The latest surveys lean slightly more bullish for prices next week than they did in the last two weekly polls.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 36 participants, 27 responded this week. Of those 27 participants, 17 see prices up, while four see prices down and six see prices moving sideways or are neutral," reports Kitco News.
"Participants who see higher prices next week said gold could gain ground on increased expectations that the Federal Reserve won’t start tapering off its bond purchases in its quantitative easing program any time soon…
Those who are bearish on gold said the 11% drop in open interest this week is a negative sign for gold, as was the inability to break above $1,425 an ounce…"
Bloomberg’s weekly survey was divided. Fifteen participants expect gold to advance next week with 13 bearish and 5 neutral.
To date, gold prices have fallen $282.80, or 16.9%, from their end of 2012 closing of $1,675.80 an ounce.
Silver was alone for the week with its 1.1% loss. It had been poised for a weekly gain until falling Friday by 44.7 cents, or 2.0%. Silver settled at $22.243 an ounce. It suffered the biggest percentage drop among precious metals in May, down 8.0%, and for the year-to-date, off 26.4%.
PGM’s ended lower Friday, higher on the week and were mixed for the month and year.
July platinum turned down $20.90, or 1.4%, to end at $1,461.80 an ounce. It gained 0.7% on the week but declined 3.0% in May and is 5.2% lower than its settlement price at the end of last year.
Palladium for September delivery eased $6.90, or 0.9%, to close at $753.65 an ounce. Palladium surged 3.7% this week, jumped 8.0% in May and is ahead for the year by 7.2%.
London Fix Precious Metals
London fixed precious metals declined on Friday and mostly for May but they all gained on the week. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London Fix prices:
- Gold fell $19.00, or 1.3%, to $1,394.50 an ounce,
- Silver shed 11.0 cents, or 0.5%, to $22.57 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $5.00, or 0.3%, to $1,459.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium lost $10.00, or 1.3%, to $744.00 an ounce
Advances for the week were 0.3% for gold and platinum, 0.8% for silver and 2.1% for palladium. Losses on the month were 5.1% for gold, 7.6% for silver and 3.2% for platinum. Palladium gained 6.4% in May.
US Bullion Coin Sales in May
Most U.S. Mint bullion products registered lower sales in May than in April when demand skyrocketed.
Sales of American Eagle silver coins at 3,458,500 in May were higher than February and March but down 15.4% from April. The Silver Eagles remain on a sales pace that would result in a new annual record.
May sales of American Eagle gold coins reached 70,000 ounces for a sizeable 66.7% fall from April when sales hit 209,500 ounces — the highest total in a month since December 2009.
Sales of American Buffalo gold coins at 12,500 ounces in May surpassed February and March totals but were 66.2% lower than April.
May sales of America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins totaled 25,800 coins for the highest amount since 28,960 coins moved in January. Last year’s inventory of five ounce coins sold out on March 1, 2013. The first of the 2013-dated coins did not launch until May 13.
The following are weekly, May and year-to-date bullion coin totals as published by the United States Mint.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date||May Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||7,500||7,000||11,500||61,500||495,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||2,000||42,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||2,000||6,000||78,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||10,000||0||60,000||60,000||360,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||1,500||12,500||144,500|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||10,600||2,500||25,800||25,800|
|American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||0||866,500||858,500||3,458,500||21,768,500|
Figures above are in the number of coins sold, not in ounces.
US Silver Coin Melt Values in May and 2013
Melt values of silver coins continued lower last month. The following table shows melt values of older circulating U.S. silver coins. Values are based on the London silver fixings at the end of 2012, April 30 and May 31. For reference, melt values of newer bullion silver coins are also provided.
|US Silver Coins||Silver Coin Melt Values (12/31/2012)||Silver Coin Melt Values (4/30/2013)||Silver Coin Melt Values (5/31/2013)||Net Change in May||Net Change Year-To-Date|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.37||$1.27||-$0.10||-$0.42|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.77||$1.63||-$0.13||-$0.53|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.77||$1.63||-$0.13||-$0.53|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.77||$1.63||-$0.13||-$0.53|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$4.42||$4.08||-$0.33||-$1.33|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$4.42||$4.08||-$0.33||-$1.33|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$4.42||$4.08||-$0.33||-$1.33|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.83||$8.16||-$0.67||-$2.67|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$8.83||$8.16||-$0.67||-$2.67|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$8.83||$8.16||-$0.67||-$2.67|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.83||$8.16||-$0.67||-$2.67|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$3.61||$3.34||-$0.27||-$1.09|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$18.89||$17.46||-$1.43||-$5.71|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$18.89||$17.46||-$1.43||-$5.71|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$7.72||$7.13||-$0.58||-$2.33|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$24.42||$22.57||-$1.85||-$7.38|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$122.10||$112.85||-$9.25||-$36.90|