Gold ended lower Friday for a fourth straight day, its sixth loss in seven sessions, and closed at its lowest price in three months. From a week ago, prices tumbled 3.2%.
On Friday, gold for December delivery fell $28.70, or 2.2%, to settle at $1,268.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price was the lowest since July 10.
Gold suffered through the week with investors turning to equities and the U.S. dollar as the government shutdown and the debt-ceiling deadline failed to elicit safe-haven buying. Gold’s drop on Thursday to below $1,300 an ounce also affected demand, according to analysts.
"There’s just a psychology around large round numbers," Scott Carter, CEO at precious metals retailer Lear Capital, told MarketWatch. "People look at that level and say, ‘Oh, what’s happening?’"
MarketWatch further relayed that "Carter argued the past week’s developments should be "long-term bullish" for gold and silver. He sees hard assets eventually getting a lift from the U.S adding to its debt and Janet Yellen leading the Federal Reserve."
For the year-to-date, gold futures are off $407.60, or 24.3%, from their 2012 closing price of $1,675.80 an ounce.
Last week, leading gold surveys tilted bullish. New surveys weigh bearish with short-term safe-haven bets sliced on expectations a deal is in the works to raise the U.S. debt limit.
Friday’s survey from Kitco News has 18 participants expecting lower gold prices next week, 4 seeing them higher and 4 expecting prices to move sideways or unchanged.
"Survey participants who see weaker prices said there’s very little to support gold in the short term," noted Kitco News. "Those who are neutral on prices said they are standing to the sidelines until something is resolved over the debt ceiling deadline and U.S. government shutdown… The few analysts who see higher prices said gold prices are oversold and they expect bargain hunters to come back in."
Bloomberg News reports similar results from analysts it surveyed. By the numbers, 15 surveyed expect lower gold prices next week with 8 bullish and 4 neutral. It noted that the results showed the highest proportion of bears since Sept. 13.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver, platinum and palladium climbed Thursday but only palladium extended its winning streak to two sessions Friday. It also jumped 1.6% on the week. The other two precious metals tracked gold on the week with silver falling 2.3% and platinum dropping 0.9%.
As for their Friday breakdowns:
Silver for December delivery declined 64 cents, or 2.9%, to end at $21.26 an ounce.
January platinum lost $20.40, or 1.5%, to finish at $1,375.60 an ounce.
- Palladium for December added 75 cents, or 0.1%, to close at $713.30 an ounce.
Palladium’s solid weekly gain lifted it into the black for the year. Other metals remain well lower. The following grid offers the month-to-date, quarterly, and year-to-date percent changes across precious metals futures:
|New York Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)|
|Month-To-Date||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
London Fix Precious Metals
London bullion fixings split Friday and for the week with palladium higher for both and other precious metals lower. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:
- Gold fell $33, or 2.5%, to $1,265.50 an ounce,
- Silver declined 41 cents, or 1.9%, to $21.52 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $16, or 1.2%, to $1,369 an ounce, and
- Palladium gained $7, or 1%, to $712 an ounce
Palladium pushed up 0.8% for the week while other metal losses rung in at 3.4% for gold, 0.6% for silver and 1.2% for platinum.
The following grid summarizes the month-to-date, quarterly, and year-to-date changes in London precious metals fixings:
|London Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)|
|Month-To-Date||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
U.S. Mint Bullion Sales in October
U.S. Mint weekly sales of its bullion products improved a bit for gold coins and silver coins. In bullion sales breakdowns:
Gold coins gained 10,000 ounces compared to last week’s 8,000 ounces. Sales splits for the week ended at 8,500 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles and 1,500 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins. On a monthly basis, sales of Gold Eagles are at 12,000 ounces, which is only 1,000 ounces below sales from September and 500 above sales from August.
Silver coins rose 703,000 ounces for a smidgen of an increase over last week’s total of 702,000 ounces. Sales splits tally to 700,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles and 3,000 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. As mentioned many times here on CoinNews.net, each of these 99.9% pure silver series has better year-to-date totals than last year and the Silver Eagles, although their sales had slowed recently, are still on track for a record year. The latest Silver Eagles weekly total was the highest since the end of August.
In coin totals are the latest daily, October and year-to-date United States Mint bullion sales figures:
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||October Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins||4,000||2,000||8,000||10,000||615,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||1,000||0||1,000||54,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||2,000||0||2,000||106,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||5,000||5,000||10,000||475,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||4,500||1,500||6,000||206,000|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,200||0||1,200||26,200|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||2,200||0||2,200||27,200|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||2,000||600||2,600||27,600|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||20,500||675,000||700,000||887,000||36,975,000|
Current US Silver Coin Melt Values
Silver was about unchanged through the first week of October. Its fall during this latest week depressed the melt value of silver coins for the month, which added onto already heavy declines for the year. This table lists melt values of older circulating U.S. coins that were produced with 90% silver. These coins, at least those that have little to no numismatic worth because they are too common or too worn, are the ones often sought for their silver values.
|US Silver Coins||Silver Coin Melt Values (12/31/2012)||Silver Coin Melt Values (9/30/2013)||Silver Coin Melt Values (10/11/2013)||Net Change in October||Net Change Year-To-Date|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.22||$1.21||-$0.01||-$0.47|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.57||$1.56||-$0.01||-$0.61|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.57||$1.56||-$0.01||-$0.61|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.57||$1.56||-$0.01||-$0.61|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$3.92||$3.89||-$0.03||-$1.52|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$3.92||$3.89||-$0.03||-$1.52|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$3.92||$3.89||-$0.03||-$1.52|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$7.84||$7.78||-$0.06||-$3.05|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$7.84||$7.78||-$0.06||-$3.05|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$7.84||$7.78||-$0.06||-$3.05|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$7.84||$7.78||-$0.06||-$3.05|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$3.21||$3.18||-$0.02||-$1.25|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$16.77||$16.64||-$0.12||-$6.52|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$16.77||$16.64||-$0.12||-$6.52|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$6.85||$6.80||-$0.05||-$2.66|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$21.68||$21.52||-$0.16||-$8.43|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$108.40||$107.60||-$0.80||-$42.15|
Silver coin melt values are calculated using London fix silver prices at the end of 2012 and September and on October 11, 2013.