Precious metals rallied on the week with silver the main star, soaring 14.3% for its fourth straight weekly gain and its best performance in nearly five years. Gold jumped 4.5% from a week ago, rising in seven of the last eight sessions.
As for Friday, gold for December delivery gained $10.10, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,371 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Safe-haven attraction for the yellow metal climbed this week as investors fled from stocks and as violence escalated in Egypt.
"Precious metals were well supported this week as investors bailed out of equities and [Treasury’s] on higher prospects of a September stimulus taper by the [Federal Reserve]," said Mike Meyer, assistant vice president of EverBank World Markets, according to MarketWatch.
"The large drop earlier in the year for both gold and silver are now presenting buying opportunities for investors sitting on cash," he said
Attention now shifts to expectations for next week and on that note, two major surveys are bullish for gold prices in the coming days.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 36 participants, 25 responded this week. Of those 25 participants, 21 see prices up, while two see prices down and two see prices moving sideways or are neutral," reports Kitco News.
"The strength of gold’s move has impressed the survey participants who see higher prices… Participants who see weaker prices for next week said they believe the gold rally has run out of steam in the short-term… Those who are neutral on prices or see the market holding in a range said gold is heading to stiff technical chart resistance that may cap gains…"
Last week’s gold survey by Bloomberg News was the most bearish since June. Its latest survey is the most bullish since March. Thirteen participants expect higher prices next week compared to four who were bullish and five who were neutral.
With the latest weekly gain, gold cut some of its loss for the year so far. The precious metal has declined $304.80, or 18.2%, since the end of 2012.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver’s weekly gain accumulated to $2.92 for the almost 15% pick-up that was the most since September 2008.
On Friday, silver for September delivery rallied 38.7 cents, or 1.7%, to close at $23.32 an ounce — the highest settlement price since May 14. The white metal is on a seven session winning streak. For the year, silver has fallen 22.8%.
Gains this week in PGMs were solid, but weaker than gold and silver with platinum up 1.8% and palladium up 3%. In their closings on Friday:
October platinum declined $4.70, or 0.3%, to finish at $1,527.60 an ounce.
Palladium for September rose $6.20, or 0.8%, to end at $763.05 an ounce.
Year-to-date, platinum has fallen 1% but palladium has surged 8.5%.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals fixings soared Friday and for the week, exactly like New York bullion futures. When comparing PM London Fix prices between Thursday and Friday:
- Gold gained $39.50, or 3%, to $1,369.25 an ounce,
- Silver tacked on 83 cents, or 3.8%, to $22.83 an ounce,
- Platinum rose $20, or 1.3%, to $1,524 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $16, or 2.1%, to $762 an ounce
Weekly increases were furious. Silver led gains among London precious metals, soaring 12.4%. Other advances included gold at 4.6%, platinum at 2.1% and palladium at 3.1%.
US Bullion Sales
U.S. Mint weekly bullion sales eased for silver coins and gained slightly for gold coins. Advances were registered on just a single day, Tuesday, according to the Mint’s website. Overall for August so far, demand is weak for Gold Eagles and strong for Silver Eagles. In weekly bullion breakdowns:
Silver coins gained 747,500 ounces versus the prior week’s 850,000 ounces. Splits were 746,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles and 1,500 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins.
Gold coins crawled in at 3,000 ounces compared to last week’s also slow tally of 2,500 ounces. Splits were even with 1,500 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles and 1,500 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins.
Year-to-date Silver Eagle sales rose to just over 31 million to maintain a record annual pace. Until Tuesday, the quickest that had ever happened was in record year 2011 when the bullion coins topped the level on September 23, 2011.
United States Mint bullion sales by day, week, month and year-to-date follow.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||August Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||500||1,000||1,500||589,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||1,000||48,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||94,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||5,000||5,000||455,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||1,500||4,500||184,500|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||29,900|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||300||300||21,100|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||17,400|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||850,000||746,000||1,596,000||31,046,000|
Figures above are in the number of coins sold, not in ounces. In related U.S. Mint coin news, with silver’s large gains, the potential increases for higher prices on Mint silver coins and related products. Read this coin news article for more.
Current US Silver Coin Melt Values
Silver coin melt values have risen sharply so far in August, though they remain well lower from the end of 2012. The following grid shows current and past melt values of older circulating U.S. coins that were composed of 90% silver.
|US Silver Coins||Silver Coin Melt Values (12/31/2012)||Silver Coin Melt Values (7/31/2013)||Silver Coin Melt Values (8/16/2013)||Net Change in Aug||Net Change Year-To-Date|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.12||$1.28||$0.16||-$0.40|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.44||$1.65||$0.21||-$0.52|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.44||$1.65||$0.21||-$0.52|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.44||$1.65||$0.21||-$0.52|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$3.61||$4.13||$0.52||-$1.29|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$3.61||$4.13||$0.52||-$1.29|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$3.61||$4.13||$0.52||-$1.29|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$7.21||$8.26||$1.05||-$2.58|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$7.21||$8.26||$1.05||-$2.58|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$7.21||$8.26||$1.05||-$2.58|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$7.21||$8.26||$1.05||-$2.58|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$2.95||$3.38||$0.43||-$1.05|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$15.42||$17.66||$2.24||-$5.51|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$15.42||$17.66||$2.24||-$5.51|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$6.30||$7.22||$0.91||-$2.25|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$19.94||$22.83||$2.89||-$7.12|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$99.70||$114.15||$14.45||-$35.60|
Coin melt values are based on the final or latest available London silver fixings in 2012, June and August. For reference, melt values of newer bullion silver coins are shown.