Gold advanced Friday, scoring a fifth session gain in a row, notching another six-month high and driving ahead for a fifth weekly gain in six weeks.
Gold for April delivery on Friday settled up $6.60, or 0.5%, to $1,379 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The closing price is the highest since Sept. 9 when gold ended at $1,386.70 an ounce.
Gold prices on the week, supported by safe-haven demand and risk aversion, rallied by $40.80, or 3.1%.
"We’re seeing investors shift out of riskier assets like the stock market and into the safety of gold," Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview according to Bloomberg News.
All three major U.S. stock indexes fell for the week with the Dow off 2.4%, the S&P 500 down 2%, and the Nasdaq off 2.1%.
Gold Outlook and YTD Gains
Majority participants in the latest Kitco News Gold Survey expect higher prices next week.
In the survey, "out of 33 participants, 25 responded this week. Twenty-one see prices up, while two see prices down and two see prices trading sideways or neutral," Kitco reported.
In last week’s survey, 10 saw prices up for this week, 6 thought they would fall and 5 saw prices trading sideways or neutral.
Gold has surged $176.70, or 14.7%, since closing last year at $1,202.30 an ounce.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver rallied on the week as well, jumping 2.3% to pad a year-to-date gain that is at 10.5%.
On Friday, Silver for May delivery tacked on 22 cents, or 1%, to settle at $21.41 an ounce.
PGMs, however, declined on Friday and for the week. In the breakdowns:
April platinum fell $9.80, or 0.7%, to $1,469.60 an ounce, falling 0.9% on the week.
- Palladium for June delivery lost $5.70, or 0.7%, to $773.25 an ounce, dropped 1.1% for the week.
Both remain higher on the year with gains of 7% for platinum and 7.7% for palladium.
London Fix Precious Metals
London bullion prices moved up on Friday but were mixed for the week. When comparing London fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold gained $16.25, or 1.2%, to $1,385 an ounce,
- Silver added 12 cents, or 0.6%, to $21.36 an ounce,
- Platinum rose $2, or 0.1%, to $1,478 an ounce, and
- Palladium climbed $4, or 0.5%, to $780 an ounce
As for the week, silver dipped 0.1% while the other metals logged advances of 3.7% for gold, 0.3% for platinum and 0.5% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in March
In bullion coin news, sales of American Gold Eagles picked up following depressed levels last week, demand for American Silver Eagles remained strong under rationed supplies, and the U.S. Mint reintroduced its American Platinum Eagle after a 5-year hiatus. In week-over-week bullion sales comparisons:
Gold coin sales rose 9,000 ounces against last week’s 6,000 ounces. Splits were 7,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles against 2,000 ounces previously, and 1,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins against 4,000 ounces previously.
American Silver Eagle sales surged 1,200,000 compared to last week’s total of 1,100,000. The weekly gain is the second highest since the debut week of the newly dated 2014 issues. The coins passed year-to-date sales of 10 million on Monday and ended the week above 10.8 million, or more than the annual totals going back to the series start in 1986 through to 2007.
American Platinum Eagle sales rose 8,700, debuting on Monday for the first time since 2008 when a total of 33,700 ounces sold.
Below is a sales breakdown across United States Mint bullion products with columns offering the number of bullion coins sold on Friday, for the week, last week, last month, the month-to-date, and the year-to-date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Sales Last Week||Weekly Sales||February Sales||March Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins||0||N/A||8,700||N/A||8,700||8,700|
|$50 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||2,000||1,000||4,000||22,000||5,000||89,500|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||2,000||3,000||2,000||17,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||4,000||0||4,000||10,000||4,000||42,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||10,000||15,000||50,000||25,000||235,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||4,000||1,500||12,000||5,500||59,000|
|$1 American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||75,500||1,100,000||1,200,000||3,750,000||2,300,000||10,825,000|
Inventories of the U.S. Mint’s five-ounce bullion coins have sold out. The first 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin, which honors Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, launches on Monday. The Mint this week also scheduled release dates for the collector versions, the 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins with the first one for Great Smoky Mountains available on April 7. Read about the 2014 ATB silver coins.