Trading action on Friday resulted in very modest precious metals changes but the damage had already been handed out earlier with gold dropping 3.4% on the week.
Gold for December delivery inched up 50 cents to settle at $1,244.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That snapped gold’s two-session losing streak and brought prices up from a more than four-month low. Investors for much of the week focused on riskier bets.
"The perception that the stock-market rally will continue and is sustainable through year’s end and perhaps into [the first quarter] of 2014 is creating the exodus out of gold, causing this price decline," MarketWatch quoted John Person, president of NationalFutures.com.
Gold’s weekly loss goes down as the biggest since prices fell 5.6% in the week that ended Sept. 13, MarketWatch noted.
Gold surveys from last week either leaned or had a clear majority of participants expecting higher prices for this week. New surveys weigh bearish.
"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 34 participants, 25 responded this week. Of these, six see prices up, while 14 see prices down and five see prices sideways or are neutral," reports Kitco.
"For participants who see weaker prices, they said the technical charts and fundamental news for the market remains bearish… Yet a few other participants said while they think that gold might have some further downside, they don’t expect selling to intensify next week, especially after the market fell sharply this week."
Bloomberg News reports its survey is the most bearish since June with 19 participants forecasting lower gold prices compared to 9 who were bullish and 3 who were neutral.
U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday but will re-open Friday.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver extended its declining streak to five sessions, leading all precious metals with its 4.2% weekly decline. On Friday, silver for December delivery shed 7.2 cents, or 0.4%, to finish at $19.86 an ounce.
In rounding out the precious metals futures complex on Friday:
January platinum declined $9, or 0.7%, to close at $1,382.70 an ounce.
- Palladium for December delivery added 80 cents, or 0.1%, to end at $714.05 an ounce.
For the week, platinum dived 3.9% and palladium fell 2.5%.
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 (%)|
|November||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
London Fix Precious Metals
London bullion fixings on Friday mostly rose, modestly, but declined on the week. When comparing Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:
- Gold gained $6.25, or 0.5%, to $1,246.25 an ounce,
- Silver dipped 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $19.93 an ounce,
- Platinum inched up $3, or 0.2%, to $1,396 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $6, or 0.8%, to $721 an ounce
Weekly losses stacked to 3.2% for gold, 3.4% for silver, 2.9% for platinum and 1.1% for palladium.
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 (%)|
|November||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rd Quarter||YTD 2013|
US Mint Bullion Sales in November
On Monday, all U.S. Mint bullion options advanced. On Tuesday, sales increased for all but one of the Mint’s silver bullion coins. On Wednesday and Thursday, sales climbed for the Mint’s one-ounce gold coins. On Friday, the Mint’s five ounce silver bullion coins were alone in gains. In breaking down the numbers:
Gold coins advanced 14,000 ounces compared to last week’s 16,500 ounces. Sales splits were 12,000 ounces in 22-karat American Gold Eagles, versus 11,500 previously, and 2,000 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins, versus 9,000 previously.
Silver coins climbed by 557,000 ounces versus last week’s 603,500 ounces. Because the Mint is building up its inventory of one-ounce silver blanks for the new 2014-dated Silver Eagles, sales for this year’s coins for each of the last three weeks have been limited to 500,000. As for America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins, two sold out this week — the Mount Rushmore and Fort McHenry coins. Weekly sales for the series totaled 57,000 ounces compared to 103,500 ounces previously.
U.S. Mint bullion sales for the week, for the month through Nov. 22, 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||10,000||10,500||31,000||677,000|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||1,000||1,000||2,000||58,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||2,000||4,000||118,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||10,000||5,000||20,000||520,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||5,000||2,000||8,000||226,000|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||200||600||300||900||27,100|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||600||600||800||1,400||28,600|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||400||400||1,800||30,000|
|Mount Rushmore 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||6,100||19,100||9,900||35,000||35,000|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||500,000||500,000||1,500,000||40,675,000|
US Silver Coin Melt Values in November
Melt values for silver coins are sharply lower in November, adding to already steep losses on the year. 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 (11/22/2013)||Net Change in November||Net Change YTD|
|1942-1945 Jefferson Nickels||$1.68||$1.25||$1.12||-$0.13||-$0.56|
|1892-1916 Barber Dimes||$2.17||$1.61||$1.44||-$0.16||-$0.72|
|1916-1945 Mercury Dimes||$2.17||$1.61||$1.44||-$0.16||-$0.72|
|1946-1964 Roosevelt Dimes||$2.17||$1.61||$1.44||-$0.16||-$0.72|
|1892-1916 Barber Quarters||$5.42||$4.01||$3.60||-$0.41||-$1.81|
|1916-1930 Standing Liberty 25c||$5.42||$4.01||$3.60||-$0.41||-$1.81|
|1932-1964 Washington Quarters||$5.42||$4.01||$3.60||-$0.41||-$1.81|
|1892-1915 Barber Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.03||$7.21||-$0.82||-$3.62|
|1916-1947 Walking Liberty 50c||$10.83||$8.03||$7.21||-$0.82||-$3.62|
|1948-1963 Franklin 50c||$10.83||$8.03||$7.21||-$0.82||-$3.62|
|1964 Kennedy Half Dollars||$10.83||$8.03||$7.21||-$0.82||-$3.62|
|1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollars||$4.43||$3.28||$2.95||-$0.34||-$1.48|
|1878-1921 Morgan Dollars||$23.16||$17.17||$15.41||-$1.76||-$7.75|
|1921-1935 Peace Dollars||$23.16||$17.17||$15.41||-$1.76||-$7.75|
|1971-1976 Silver Eisenhower $1s||$9.47||$7.02||$6.30||-$0.72||-$3.17|
|1986-2013 American Eagles||$29.95||$22.20||$19.93||-$2.27||-$10.02|
|2010-2013 ATB Silver Coins||$149.75||$111.00||$99.65||-$11.35||-$50.10|
The above melt values are derived using London fix silver prices from the end of 2012, end of October and on Nov. 22.
Since silver is mostly a byproduct of copper mining, the need for mining copper will drop once hydrogen-nickel fusion goes into production early next year. That process generates energy at extremely cheap prices and transforms nickel into copper. People who want silver are going to have to pay to mine silver at which time it will go back to the 16:1 silver gold ratio that it was before.