Three consecutive session gains lifted gold modestly higher on the week as it along with silver and palladium each advanced 0.5%. Platinum was alone with a weekly loss, slipping 0.3%.
On Friday, gold for June delivery rose $10.20, or 0.8%, to finish at $1,300.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price was the first above $1,300 an ounce since April 16. Gains started flowing mid-week as safe-haven demand grew over risings tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
"During the past couple of months, gold seems to have found a comfortable base range to trade within," MarketWatch quoted Richard Gotterer, managing director and senior financial advisor at Wescott Financial Advisory Group.
"With Russia and the Ukraine dominating the global conflict front, any potential for increased military action is going to put a floor in gold’s trading range, with an upward bias," he said. "However, when the conflict simmers down, expect gold to lose that flight to safety support."
Gold Outlook and YTD Gains
Majority participants in the latest Kitco News survey expect gold prices to rise next week, reversing course from expectations the majority had for prices this week. Twelve forecast higher gold prices while 4 see them lower and 3 see them sideways to unchanged.
"(It’s a) tough call this week. A strong argument could be made for all three directions. If I had to pick one, it would be sideways," said Darin Newsom, senior analyst, DTN. "The June contract has posted a strong rally off its test of technical support at $1,265.20, and is poised for a higher weekly close. All this despite weekly Stochastics that remain bearish. This could easily set the stage for a continued rally next week back to resistance between $1,321.30 and $1,334.80. However, for arguments sake, I’ll say that the contract calms down next week and consolidates within this week’s range, so far, of $1,303.50 to $1,268.40."
Gold prices this year have advanced $98.50, or 8.2%, since the 2013 closing of $1,202.30 an ounce.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver, platinum and palladium also settled higher Friday. In their breakdowns for the day and week:
Silver for May delivery edged up barely, rising less than a half penny to $19.69 an ounce.
July platinum added $14.70, or 1%, to finish at $1,424.30 an ounce.
- Palladium for June delivery tacked on $8.90, or 1.1%, to settle at $811.20 an ounce.
As for the year so far, gains include 1.7% for silver, 3.7% for platinum and 12.9% for palladium.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals moved in the same directions on Friday and for the week as New York bullion futures. When comparing the London fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold gained $9.75, or 0.8%, to $1,301.25 an ounce,
- Silver advanced 60 cents, or 3.2%, to $19.66 an ounce,
- Platinum rose $24, or 1.7%, to $1,418 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $18, or 2.3%, to $805 an ounce
Platinum dropped 1.3% from a week ago while the other metals tagged pick-ups of 0.2% for gold and silver and 0.5% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in March
Demand retreated this week for U.S. Mint gold coins but surged for the bureau’s silver coins. In week-over-week comparisons:
In the seventh full week of release following a five-year hiatus, American Platinum Eagles added 100 after gaining 300 during the previous week.
Gold coin sales advanced 5,000 ounces after rising 13,500 ounces last week. Splits were 4,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 10,500 ounces previously and 1,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo after 3,000 ounces previously.
American Silver Eagle sales jumped 1,246,500 compared to last week’s 1,085,000. The bullion coins passed the year-to-date mark of 17 million on Tuesday and now sit at just over 17.5 million. Tuesday was the first time that the 2014-dated Silver Eagles surpassed record sales of last year’s coins during the same period.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins climbed 600 after gaining 7,400. The U.S. Mint on Monday said it temporarily sold out of the coins and that it would have additional inventory available in a few weeks.
Below is a sales breakdown for U.S. Mint bullion coins with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Friday, last week, this week, last month, the month-to-date, and this year so far.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Sales Last Week||Weekly Sales||March Sales||April Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins||0||300||100||10,000||1,000||11,000|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||7,500||3,000||16,000||22,500||123,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||2,000||1,000||18,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||8,000||2,000||4,000||20,000||62,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||10,000||5,000||30,000||35,000||275,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||3,000||1,000||12,000||14,000||79,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||106,000||1,085,000||1,246,500||5,354,000||3,675,000||17,554,000|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||N/A*||7,400||600||12,400||10,600||23,000|