Gold closed at a fresh five-week high Friday, capping its second-straight weekly gain by jumping 2.9% after soaring 3.7% last week.
Up for a second day Friday, gold for December delivery rose $2.20, or 0.2%, to finish at $1,352.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price is the highest since Sept. 19. A drop in U.S. consumer confidence and weaker-than-expected durable goods data was supportive of the yellow gold, opined analysts.
"Things are sluggishly moving here," Reuters quoted Thomas Capalbo, a precious metals broker at New York futures brokerage Newedge. "There’s no real indication that things are getting much better, and no indication saying that we are going to see tapering soon, so that’s going to be beneficial for gold and probably silver too."
As measured by Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan, consumer sentiment fell to 73.2 in October, down from 77.5 in September and from 82.6 in the year-ago period. It was the lowest reading since December 2012.
"Bad news is a good news for gold," MarketWatch quoted Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. "Core durable good and consumer sentiment have further firmed the optimism" that the Federal Reserve will keep their taps running. "We have to keep in mind that we still need to factor in the cost of a government shutdown for November’s data, which does not seem good either."
Throwing out recent weekly gains, gold has had a rough year. Prices are down $323.30, or 19.3%, from the 2012 closing of $1,675.80 an ounce.
For a second consecutive week, gold surveys weigh bullish — more so in this latest round. The survey taken by Kitco News has 20 participants seeing prices higher next week, 5 expecting them lower and 1 seeing them sideways.
Kitco News noted that many of its survey participants, who include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical-chart analysts, expect "gains established this week to spill over into next week’s dealings."
Adding that those "who see weaker prices said they expect some sort of pullback with the market bumping into what’s been the top of the recent trading range. They don’t expect any support from the FOMC meeting, either."
The next policy-making Federal Open Market Committee meets for two days beginning on Tuesday with a public statement about its direction released at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
"It’s pretty clear with the shutdown lasting over two weeks and the negative news with the non-farm payrolls that it would be a brave Fed to announce tapering at this stage," Bloomberg News quoted Jonathan Butler, a precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi Corp. (8058) International (Europe) Plc in London. "The potential for tapering to be delayed plus the residual weakness in the dollar might give some extra oomph to precious metals."
In its weekly gold survey, Bloomberg News reports 17 participants forecast higher gold prices next week compared to 9 who were bearish and 6 neutral.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Other metals mixed it up Friday but each scored weekly gains. Silver led precious metals on the week, rallying 3.3%. Platinum advanced 1.2% from a week ago while sister metal palladium tacked on 1%.
As for their closings on Friday:
Silver for December delivery shed 18.3 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $22.64 an ounce. On Thursday, silver closed at its best price since Sept. 19.
January platinum eased 70 cents to close at $1,455.50 an ounce.
- Rising for its seventh increase in eight sessions, palladium for December added a dime to finish at $747.90 an ounce.
Palladium added to its pick up on the year while other precious metals gently pared losses. The following grid offers the month-to-date, quarterly, and year-to-date percent changes across New York bullion futures:
|New York Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)|
|Month-To-Date||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metal fixings split on Friday and on the week. When comparing the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:
- Gold added $3, or 0.2%, to $1,347.75 an ounce,
- Silver declined 32 cents, or 1.4%, to $22.35 an ounce,
- Platinum slipped $7, or 0.5%, to $1,440 an ounce, and
- Palladium fell $16, or 2.1%, to $733 an ounce
Palladium dipped lower for the week, down 0.5%. The others logged weekly increases — 2.4% for gold, 2.2% for silver and 0.1% for platinum. The following grid summarizes month-to-date, quarterly, and year-to-date changes:
|London Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)|
|Month-To-Date||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
US Mint Bullion Sales in October
Overall this week, U.S. Mint bullion sales pulled back a bit from the soaring numbers recorded last week. Individually, the American Gold Eagle series surged more and American Silver Eagles reached a new milestone. In notables:
Gold coins advanced 18,000 ounces compared to last week’s 19,500 ounces. Sales splits were 15,500 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles (vs. 13,000 last week) and 2,500 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins (vs. 6,500 last week).
For the month-to-date, Gold Eagles are at 40,500 ounces. That more than triples the September total of 13,000 ounces. The pace is on track to more than quadruple the August total of 11,500 ounces. Gold Buffalo sales at 15,000 for the month are also the highest since July.
Silver coins rose 699,000 ounces against last week’s 800,000 ounces. Sales again came entirely from American Silver Eagles. This week the bullion coins topped 38 million for the year with the 2011 annual record of 39,868,500 quickly approaching. In 2011, it took until until Dec. 5 for sales to reach where they are now. (In related Silver Eagle coin news, the U.S. Mint on Friday published the final sales total for its popular 2013 American Silver Eagle West Point Two-Coin Set.)
In coin totals are the latest daily, October and year-to-date United States Mint bullion sales figures:
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||October Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||1,500||12,000||11,500||33,500||638,500|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||2,000||3,000||56,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||8,000||10,000||114,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||10,000||10,000||30,000||495,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||6,500||2,500||15,000||215,000|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||1,200||26,200|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||2,200||27,200|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||2,600||27,600|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||45,500||800,000||699,000||2,386,000||38,474,000|
Current US Silver Coin Melt Values
Silver prices are up nicely for the month but off sharply for the year, as is the case with melt values for silver coins. Displayed in the following grid are melt values of older circulating U.S. coins that were produced in 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 (10/25/2013)||Net Change in October||Net Change Year-To-Date|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.22||$1.26||$0.04||-$0.43|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.57||$1.62||$0.05||-$0.55|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.57||$1.62||$0.05||-$0.55|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.57||$1.62||$0.05||-$0.55|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$3.92||$4.04||$0.12||-$1.37|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$3.92||$4.04||$0.12||-$1.37|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$3.92||$4.04||$0.12||-$1.37|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$7.84||$8.08||$0.24||-$2.75|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$7.84||$8.08||$0.24||-$2.75|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$7.84||$8.08||$0.24||-$2.75|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$7.84||$8.08||$0.24||-$2.75|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$3.21||$3.31||$0.10||-$1.12|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$16.77||$17.29||$0.52||-$5.88|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$16.77||$17.29||$0.52||-$5.88|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$6.85||$7.06||$0.21||-$2.40|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$21.68||$22.35||$0.67||-$7.60|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$108.40||$111.75||$3.35||-$38.00|
The above melt values are calculated using London fix silver prices at the end of 2012 and September and on October 25, 2013.