Gold prices fell Thursday, logging declines in two of the last three sessions to end the holiday-shortened trading week below $1,300 an ounce.
Gold for June delivery retreated $9.60, or 0.7%, to close at $1,293.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. With U.S. markets closed for Good Friday, Thursday’s settlement price marks a weekly decline of $25.10 or 1.9%.
"While we do not have a strong directional view on gold in the near term, the path of least resistance is down and the technical picture suggests further losses in the offing," ANZ analysts said in a note reported on Reuters. "Safe-haven demand for gold will likely become a feature again in the near term (on Ukraine). But the market remains fickle, and profits are likely to be taken off the table quickly."
Gold Outlook and YTD Gains
Majority participants in the latest Kitco News Gold Survey expect prices to fall further next week. Twelve forecast lower gold prices while 7 see them higher and 2 see them sideways to unchanged.
"Those who see weaker prices said after this week’s selloff, the market could see further losses," Kitco News reported. "Those who see higher prices said they believe the break gold suffered this week was too much, too fast, so they expect to see price rebound."
Gold prices this year have advanced $91.60, or 7.6%, since the 2013 closing of $1,202.30 an ounce.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver and platinum also closed lower on Thursday and for the week but palladium eked out gains. In their breakdowns:
Silver for May delivery shed 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $19.60 an ounce, falling 1.8% since Friday.
July platinum fell $9.10, or 0.6%, to $1,428.70 an ounce, tumbling 2.3% on the week.
- Palladium for June delivery rose $4.80, or 0.6%, to $807.10 an ounce, inching up 30 cents from Friday.
The three metals are higher on the year so far with gains of 1.2% for silver, 4% for platinum and 12.4% for palladium.
London Fix Precious Metals
Heading into the holiday, earlier fixed London precious metals mixed it up on the day. In contrasting the London fix prices from Wednesday PM to Thursday PM:
- Gold dipped $2.50, or 0.2%, to $1,299 an ounce,
- Silver added 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $19.62 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $5, or 0.3%, to $1,437 an ounce, and
- Palladium rose $1, or 0.1%, to $801 an ounce
Palladium was alone on the week with a modest pick-up of 0.9%. Losses included 1.4% for gold, 2.3% for silver and 1.2% for platinum.
US Mint Bullion Sales in March
Weekly bullion coin totals are higher overall despite the holiday-shortened week and a lack of U.S. Mint reported sales on Thursday. In week-over-week comparisons:
In the sixth full week of release following a five-year hiatus, American Platinum Eagles added 300, matching the previous week.
Gold coin sales advanced 13,500 ounces after gains of 9,000 ounces last week. Splits were 10,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 6,000 ounces previously and the same 3,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo as the prior week.
American Silver Eagle sales rose 1,085,000 against last week’s 1,050,500. The silver bullion coins passed year-to-date sales of 16 million on Tuesday and now sit at just over 16.3 million. Since the series started in 1986, only 2013 logged higher sales through the same time period — but not by much. Last year at this time, the coins had sales of 16.61 million.
Sales of America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins jumped 7,400, or 37,000 ounces, after flattening in the prior week.
Below is a sales breakdown for U.S. Mint bullion products with columns offering the number of bullion coins sold last week, this week, last month, the month-to-date, and the year-to-date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Thursday Sales||Sales Last Week||Sales This Week||March Sales||April Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins||0||300||300||10,000||900||10,900|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||3,000||7,500||16,000||19,500||120,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||2,000||1,000||18,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||8,000||8,000||4,000||18,000||60,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||10,000||10,000||30,000||30,000||270,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||3,000||3,000||12,000||13,000||78,500|
|$1 American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||1,050,500||1,085,000||5,354,000||2,428,500||16,307,500|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Bullion Coins||0||0||7,400||12,400||10,000||22,400|