Gold futures notched higher on Friday and for the U.S. holiday-shortened week, but earlier November losses hammered prices and the yellow metal still logged its biggest decline in five months.
Through mid-week, gold settlements teetered around the lowest price since July 8. U.S. markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. In thin trading on Friday, gold for February delivery turned up $12.50, or 1%, to close at $1,250.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Physical demand is solid, but not bullish enough to spark significant short-covering," Victor Thianpiriya, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore, said in a report relayed on Bloomberg News. "Market sentiment remains less than encouraging."
Gold’s turnaround lifted prices 0.5% for the week to pair its monthly decline to 5.5%, but that was still its worst pounding since the 12.2% decline in June. Gold prices have plunged 25.4% for the year-to-date.
A majority of participants in last week’s gold surveys had expected lower prices. New surveys show most participants do not expect the recent gains to continue into next week.
"Out of 34 participants, 20 responded this week. Seven see prices up, another seven see prices down and six see prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical-chart analysts," reports Kitco.
"Several said they look for gold to be largely sideways in the run-up to the U.S. November employment report due out next Friday… Others see weakness on ideas the market is factoring in the eventual tapering of QE."
This week’s gold survey by Bloomberg News is almost identical to last week’s, which was the most bearish since June. Eighteen 18 participants expect lower gold prices compared to 9 who were bullish and 3 who were neutral.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver enjoyed the biggest gains among precious metals on Friday and on the week yet it also declined the most in November. On Friday, silver for March delivery rallied 35.1 cents, or 1.8%, to close at $20.03 an ounce. It advanced 0.9% from a week ago and lost 8.4% for the month.
In PGM futures on Friday, for the week and for the month:
January platinum rose $16.10, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,368.80 an ounce. It declined 1% on the week and shed 5.5% in November.
- Palladium for March delivery climbed $3.70, or 0.5%, to $719.65 an ounce. It gained 0.8% from a week ago and lost 2.3% for the month.
The following grid shows the net percentage changes in New York precious metals futures for November, 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 moved similar to New York precious metals futures on Friday, for the week and in November. When comparing Thursday PM to Friday PM London fix prices:
- Gold gained $7.50, or 0.6%, to $1,253 an ounce,
- Silver added 17 cents, or 0.9%, to $19.93 an ounce,
- Platinum jumped $19, or 1.4%, to $1,376 an ounce, and
- Palladium advanced $7, or 1%, to $724 an ounce
On the week, silver was flat and platinum lost 1.4%. Advancing was gold by 0.5% and palladium by 0.4%.
The following grid shows the net percentage changes in London precious metals fixings for November, 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
U.S. Mint bullion demand grew this week with more gold coins purchased than any week since the one ended Oct. 25 and more silver coins ordered than any since the week ended Oct. 18. As for November, CoinNews.net will publish a more detailed analysis later, but in summary:
American Silver Eagles climbed 2,300,000, which was easily the lowest monthly total for the year and the first one in which sales did not at least top 3 million. Supply was the issue, not demand. The U.S. Mint sharply rationed sales this month to reserve one-ounce silver coin blanks for the 2014-dated Silver Eagles. On Nov. 12, the coin’s hit an all-time sales record even under the restrictions.
American Gold Eagles reached 48,000 ounces in November, down 500 ounces from October’s tally which was the highest monthly amount since July’s 50,500 ounces.
American Buffalo gold coins totaled 14,000 for the month compared to 18,000 in October, which was also the highest monthly total since July and its sales of 18,500.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins added 39,100 in November, supported by the release of the Mount Rushmore silver coin that launched on Nov. 4 and sold out on Nov. 22. ATB five ounce bullion totals in prior 2013 months include: 6,600 in October; 22,900 in September 19,000 in August; 17,000 in July; 25,300 in June; 25,800 in May; 19,800 in March; 14,340 in February; and 28,960 in January. The Mint’s supply of the 2012-dated five ounce coins sold out in early March and new ones were not offered until May.
Listed below are U.S. Mint bullion sales for Friday, for the week, in November and on the year-to-date.
|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||13,000||44,000||690,000|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||1,000||0||2,000||58,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||2,000||0||4,000||118,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||5,000||0||20,000||520,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||6,000||14,000||232,000|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||300||0||900||27,100|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||800||0||1,400||28,600|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||30,000|
|Mount Rushmore 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||362,000||500,000||800,000||2,300,000||41,475,000|
US Silver Coin Melt Values in November
Using London silver fixings, silver coin melt values are exactly the same as one week ago — sharply lower in November and down deep for 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 (11/29/2013)||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 calculated using London fix silver prices from the end of 2012, end of October and on Nov. 29.