Precious metals advanced Friday, though they plunged in June and for the second quarter. Gold turned out a terrible quarterly result, off 23.3% for the deepest rout since modern gold trading began in the 1970s.
Gold for August delivery traded higher Friday by $12.10, or 1%, to settle at $1,223.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The daily gain, supported by improved physical demand, was a first for the yellow metal this week.
"There is definitely some increase in the pace of physical purchases," Matt Zeman, a strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said in a telephone interview according to Bloomberg News. "We are also seeing some short covering after prices started rising."
Gold ended down 5.3% from a week ago and notched a loss in June totaling 12.2%. The precious metal has been pounded in the last two weeks over rising expectations that the Fed would scale back its quantitative easing by the end of this year.
"Gold needs either inflation or fiat-currency fears to do really well, and neither appears likely in the near term," wrote Jay Pelosky, principal at J2Z Advisory, in a report about financial-market trends for Itaú BBA. "Having some gold in the portfolio when rates are low seems like low-cost protection, though price action is scary," Pelosky said, according to MarketWatch.
For 2013 so far, gold prices have plummeted $452.10, or 27%.
Surveys on Gold Expectations for Next Week
The last round of gold surveys were, correctly as it turned out, heavily bearish for prices this week. New surveys warmed up a bit in bullish sentiment for higher gold prices in the upcoming, holiday-shortened trading week.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 36 participants, 21 responded this week. Of those 21 participants, 11 see prices up, while eight see prices down and two see prices moving sideways or are neutral," Kitco News reported.
"Participants who see higher prices said they believe the selloff in gold is overdone and was in part because of selling related to quarter-end book squaring… Those who see weaker prices said the trend is down and sentiment is weak, with few reasons to step in and buy…"
Bloomberg News noted that its latest survey had 15 participants forecasting stronger gold prices in the first week of July. Fourteen were bearish and 3 were neutral.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver fell furthest among precious metals in the second quarter, declining 31.3%. Losses in PGMs were modest by comparison with platinum in the April to June period down 14.9% and palladium over the same time off 14%.
As for their changes on Friday, for the week and for the month:
Silver for September delivery rallied 91.7 cents, or 4.9%, to close at $19.47 an ounce, yet logged a weekly decline of 2.5% and a June loss of 12.5%.
October platinum rose $10.80, or 0.8%, to $1,339.90 an ounce, but still fell 2.2% for the week and 8.3% for the month.
- September palladium jumped $10, or 1.5%, to settle at $660.70 an ounce. Palladium lost 2.1% from a week ago and ended down 12.3% for June.
In year-to-date totals, silver again is the biggest loser with its decline of 35.6%. Platinum is down 13.1%. Palladium has been hurt the least so far this year with a 6.1% fall since its close at the end of 2012.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals were mixed to unchanged Friday. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London Fix prices:
- Gold dropped $40.75, or 3.3%, to $1,192 an ounce,
- Silver climbed 25 cents, or 1.3%, to $18.86 an ounce,
- Platinum dipped $1, or 0.1%, to $1,317 an ounce, and
- Palladium remained at $643 an ounce
Like bullion futures in New York, London metal fixings plunged for the month and quarter. For June, losses totaled 14.5% for gold, 16.4% for silver, 9.7% for platinum and 13.6% for palladium. For the second quarter, precious metals fell by 25.4% for gold, 34.1% for silver, 16.4% for platinum and 16.5% for palladium.
US Bullion Coin Sales in June
U.S. Mint silver coins started the week strong with sales at 896,500 ounces by Tuesday, a higher total than last week’s 801,500 ounces. In some surprise, however, no additional gains were noted by the Mint from Wednesday through Friday. In a moderate start but very quick weekly finish, gold coins reached 22,000 ounces. Last week’s total was slightly stronger at 23,000 ounces.
Summer months are typically slower for bullion coins. That was certainly the case for June. In monthly breakdowns:
Sales of American Eagle silver coins at 3,275,000 were the lowest monthly level of this record-pace year. Still and very telling to the unprecedented demand for the coins in 2013, just one month last year reached a higher total.
June sales of American Eagle gold coins totaled 57,000 ounces, also the slowest month so far for in 2013. May’s total was 70,000 ounces. Sales in June 2012 accumulated to 60,000 ounces.
American Buffalo gold coins at 17,000 ounces in June topped sales of 12,500 ounces in May and the 10,000 ounces in June of last year.
Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Silver Bullion Coins reached 25,300 coins this month, just off from the 25,800 coins sold in May. This week saw the addition of Great Basin silver coins to the Mint’s sales lineup. 9,900 of them sold on the first day.
The following are daily, June and year-to-date bullion coin totals as provided by the United States Mint.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||June Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||8,000||19,000||12,500||49,000||544,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||1,000||0||1,000||1,000||43,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||2,000||4,000||4,000||8,000||86,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||10,000||0||10,000||55,000||415,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||4,500||3,000||7,000||17,000||161,500|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||1,200||27,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||300||0||14,200||14,200|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||9,900||9,900||9,900|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||800,000||847,000||3,275,000||25,043,500|
Figures above are in the number of coins sold, not in ounces.
US Silver Coin Melt Values in June and 2013
Intrinsic values of silver coins plummeted this week and for the month. The following table shows melt values of older U.S. coins that once circulated. These coins, at least those that have little or no real numismatic worth because they are common or too worn, are the ones often sought for their silver values. The shown coin melt values are based on the London silver fixings at the end of 2012, on May 31 and on June 28. 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 (5/31/2013)||Silver Coin Melt Values (6/28/2013)||Net Change in June||Net Change Year-To-Date|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.27||$1.06||-$0.21||-$0.62|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.63||$1.36||-$0.27||-$0.80|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.63||$1.36||-$0.27||-$0.80|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.63||$1.36||-$0.27||-$0.80|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$4.08||$3.41||-$0.67||-$2.01|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$4.08||$3.41||-$0.67||-$2.01|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$4.08||$3.41||-$0.67||-$2.01|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.16||$6.82||-$1.34||-$4.01|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$8.16||$6.82||-$1.34||-$4.01|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$8.16||$6.82||-$1.34||-$4.01|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.16||$6.82||-$1.34||-$4.01|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$3.34||$2.79||-$0.55||-$1.64|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$17.46||$14.59||-$2.87||-$8.58|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$17.46||$14.59||-$2.87||-$8.58|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$7.13||$5.96||-$1.17||-$3.51|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$22.57||$18.86||-$3.71||-$11.09|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$112.85||$94.30||-$18.55||-$55.45|
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