Precious metals futures ended lower for a second straight session Friday, pressured as the US dollar gained after the Labor Department reported better-than-expected employment figures.
On the week, metals mixed it up a bit. Gold and silver fell with respective weekly losses of 2.2% and 2.4%. PGMs split as platinum shed 0.6% from a week ago while palladium surged 2.7%.
Returning to Friday, gold for December delivery tumbled $23.90, or 1.8%, to settle at $1,284.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The closing price was the lowest since Oct. 16.
"The (employment) numbers absolutely blew past expectations," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at GFT Markets, in a daily note according to MarketWatch. "After yesterday’s (Thursday’s) surprisingly strong U.S. GDP figure, this has strengthened the argument for the Fed to reduce stimulus before the end of this year. And because of that reason, gold prices have plunged today."
The Labor Department on Friday said the US economy added 204,000 jobs in October when expectations had been around the 120,000 level. Then on Thursday, the Commerce Department said the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 2.8% in the third quarter compared to the expected increase of 2%.
Gold surveys hit the nail on the head last week when they radiated a bearish outlook for prices this week. Surveys results published on Friday about next week expectations were divided. A survey from Bloomberg News was bullish while one from Kitco News was bearish.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 18 responded this week. Of these, four see prices up, while 12 see prices down and two see prices sideways or are neutral," reports Kitco News.
"Survey participants who expect prices to fall pointed to a lack of inflation, and many noted Friday’s U.S. October nonfarm payrolls report… The few participants who see higher prices said they’re expecting some buying interest to come in at the lower levels."
Bloomberg News reports its survey has 16 participants forecasting higher gold prices next week compared to 11 who were bearish and 5 who were neutral.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Falling Friday for the sixth time in seven sessions, silver for December delivery lost 34 cents, or 1.6%, to close at $21.32 an ounce.
In PGM futures prices for the day:
January platinum declined $13.90, or 1%, to finish at $1,442.90 an ounce.
- Palladium for December delivery dipped $1.25, or 0.2%, to settle at $757.90 an ounce. Palladium had a strong four-session winning streak through Wednesday, providing the momentum for its weekly increase.
The following grid summarizes precious metals futures for the month-to-date, the completed quarters in 2013 and the year-to-date.
|New York Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)|
|October||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
London Fix Precious Metals
London bullion fixings were mostly lower Friday and for the week, with palladium the exception during both periods. When comparing Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:
- Gold fell $21.75, or 1.7%, to $1,285.50 an ounce,
- Silver slipped 5 cents, or 0.2%, to $21.70 an ounce,
- Platinum shed $7, or 0.5%, to $1,446 an ounce, and
- Palladium tacked on $1.50, or 0.2%, to $757 an ounce
As for the week, palladium surged 2.7% while the other precious metals registered losses totaling 1.6% for gold, 0.2% for silver and 0.5% for platinum. The following grid summarizes London precious metals fixings for the month-to-date, the completed quarters in 2013 and the year-to-date.
|London Precious Metals Gains / Losses (%)|
|October||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
US Mint Bullion Sales in November
Demand for United States Mint bullion coins fell this week compared to last week. In breaking down the numbers:
Gold coins added 10,000 ounces against last week’s 14,000 ounces. Sales splits were 9,000 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles, versus 11,000 previously, and 1,000 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins, versus 3,000 previously.
Silver coins added 535,000 ounces compared to last week’s 704,000 ounces. Splits were 500,000 ounces in Silver Eagles, versus 701,000 previously, and 35,000 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins, versus 3,000 previously. Leading ATB five ounce sales was the Mount Rushmore bullion coin with 30,000 ounces. It launched on Monday, Nov. 4.
Bullion sales for the week, for the month through Nov. 8, and the year-to-date are listed below.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||November Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||10,500||7,500||10,500||656,500|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||56,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||4,000||4,000||118,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||5,000||5,000||5,000||505,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||3,000||1,000||1,000||219,000|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||26,200|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||27,200|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||600||1,000||1,000||29,200|
|Mount Rushmore 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||6,000||6,000||6,000|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||701,000||500,000||500,000||39,675,000|
US Silver Coin Melt Values in November
Silver coin melt values rose in October but they headed lower through the first full week in November. They are down sharply on the year so far. The grid below offers current 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 (10/31/2013)||Silver Coin Melt Values (11/8/2013)||Net Change in November||Net Change YTD|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.25||$1.22||-$0.03||-$0.46|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.61||$1.57||-$0.04||-$0.60|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.61||$1.57||-$0.04||-$0.60|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.61||$1.57||-$0.04||-$0.60|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$4.01||$3.92||-$0.09||-$1.49|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$4.01||$3.92||-$0.09||-$1.49|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$4.01||$3.92||-$0.09||-$1.49|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.03||$7.85||-$0.18||-$2.98|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$8.03||$7.85||-$0.18||-$2.98|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$8.03||$7.85||-$0.18||-$2.98|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.03||$7.85||-$0.18||-$2.98|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$3.28||$3.21||-$0.07||-$1.22|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$17.17||$16.78||-$0.39||-$6.38|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$17.17||$16.78||-$0.39||-$6.38|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$7.02||$6.86||-$0.16||-$2.61|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$22.20||$21.70||-$0.50||-$8.25|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$111.00||$108.50||-$2.50||-$41.25|
The above melt values are calculated using London fix silver prices at the end of 2012, end of October and on Nov. 8.