Gold Rebounds to Trim Weekly Loss; Silver Drops 1.3% on Week

Partial Photo of Bullion Gold
Gold, silver and other precious metals declined on the week. U.S. Mint bullion coin sales tumbled.

Gold rebounded from a six-week low Friday, ending higher for the first time in four sessions to trim its weekly loss to 0.7%.

Gold for December delivery settled up $12, or 0.9%, to $1,294.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gains came after the Labor Department reported weaker than expected jobs data, which softened views that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner versus later. The news also pressured the U.S. dollar. Gold tends to move opposite of the greenback.

"You would expect some fund flow into the metals, with the equity price plunge, but it’s conceivable that the market’s dinosaur brain perceives a 2008 event occurring, which suggests a rush to cash," MarketWatch quoted Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco. "The metals may also be the victim of investors caught in the equity market who are trying to raise cash, due to margin calls; gold remains the most liquid asset for that purpose."

On Thursday, gold ended July with a 3% monthly loss and settled at its lowest price since June 19. Gold prices have advanced $92.50, or 7.7%, since ending 2013 at $1,202.30 an ounce.

Gold Outlook

Participants in the latest Kitco News survey are mixed about the direction of the yellow metal for next week. Twelve expect prices to fall, 8 see prices higher, and 4 see prices trading sideways or unchanged.

"Gold essentially got to my $1,280 downside target and with the dollar showing signs it will take a breather, I expect gold can rally into the $1310-20 area over the next week," Kitco quoted Ken Morrison, editor of the online newsletter Morrison on the Markets. "The concern I have with gold is longs and short-sellers alike have been exiting — witness the huge decline in open interest. It’s lost its appeal as the safe-haven play and remains in a longer-term bear market, Morrison added"

Kitco gold survey results last week were bearish with expectation splits of 14 down, 4 up, and 4 sideways or unchanged.

Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures

Silver closed lower for a second straight session with the September contract off 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $20.37 an ounce. Prices dropped 1.3% on the week but the white metal has gained 5.2% for the year to date.

In other precious metals on Friday and for the week:

  • October platinum slipped $1.90, or 0.1%, to $1,463.30 an ounce, declining 1% from a week ago.

  • Palladium for September lost $9.15, or 1.1%, to $864.55 an ounce, falling 1.6% for the week.

For the year to date, platinum is ahead by 6.5% and palladium is up by 20.4%.

London Fix Precious Metals

London precious metals were mixed on Friday and declined on the week. When comparing the London bullion fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:

  • Gold added $6, or 0.5%, to $1,291.25 an ounce,
  • Silver tumbled 35 cents, or 1.7%, to $20.34 an ounce,
  • Platinum declined $10, or 0.7%, to $1,462 an ounce, and
  • Palladium fell $9, or 1%, to $871 an ounce

Weekly losses totaled up to 1.2% for gold, 2.9% for silver, 2.3% for platinum and 1.1% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Sales in August

Demand for bullion products is typically weaker in summer months. That was certainly the case with slow sales in July, and this week — one of the worst for United States Mint bullion coins this year. Sales were muted on the first day of August. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:

  • Gold coin sales rose 1,500 ounces after advancing 5,500 ounces last week. All came from American Gold Eagles, which advanced by 4,000 ounces last week.

  • American Silver Eagles added 335,000 following the past ten smaller-than-typical weekly gains of 615,000; 590,000; 360,000; 395,000; 447,000; 580,000; 675,000; 670,000; 300,000; and 426,500. The coins topped 26 million for the year on Tuesday, maintaining a pace that is the second quickest in their 29-year history. 

  • America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins were flat after rising in the prior week by 500 coins, or 2,500 ounces.

  • Sales of American Platinum Eagles were flat for a seventh straight week. The coins are now in their 18th full week of release after a five-year hiatus.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold last week, this week, last month, and the year to date.

American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday Sales Sales Last Week Current Sales Week July Sales YTD Sales
$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins 0 0 0 0 12,900
$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 3,000 1,500 26,000 224,500
$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 0 0 0 27,000
$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 2,000 0 6,000 78,000
$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 5,000 0 25,000 385,000
$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins 0 1,500 0 5,500 117,000
$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins 0 615,000 335,000 1,975,000 26,103,500
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 500 0 500 29,500
Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 0 20,000
Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 1,500 20,000


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