Gold closed below $1,200 an ounce for the first time this year and logged a fifth straight week of declines.
Gold for December delivery plunged $22.20, or 1.8%, to settle at $1,192.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Losses were attributed to news that U.S. employers added 248,000 jobs in September and an employment rate that fell to 5.9%.
"Strengthening payrolls are going to add to the perception that the Fed is going to raise rates sooner," Bloomberg News quoted Charlie Bilello, who helps oversee $220 million as director of research at Pension Partners LLC in New York. "The perception is that a more hawkish Fed is negative for gold."
With the day’s drop, gold turned negative on week, down 1.5%, and for the year, down 0.8%.
For a fourth consecutive week, participants in the latest Kitco News survey are bearish overall for gold. Sixteen survey takers expect gold prices to decline next week, 7 see them higher and 3 see them trading sideways or are neutral. Kitco News reports:
"The dollar strength is weighing on gold, said most participants who see weaker prices next week… A few participants who see higher prices next week said now that gold broke $1,200 an ounce, it could encourage some buying… Those who are neutral say after breaking $1,200 Friday, the market might try to consolidate this week’s losses…"
Kitco gold survey results last week had splits of 12 down, 4 up, and 4 sideways or neutral.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver for December delivery lost 22 cents, or 1.3%, to finish at $16.83 an ounce. The white metal fell 1.4% on the week and is under for the year by 13.1%.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
January platinum dived $43.50, or 3.4%, to $1,226.90 an ounce, dropping 5.7% this week.
- Palladium for December delivery fell $14.10, or 1.8%, to $754.55 an ounce, falling 2.7% from a week ago.
For the year so far, platinum has declined 10.7% while palladium has gained 5%.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals fell on Friday and for the week. When comparing the London bullion Fix prices and the LBMA Silver Price from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold lost $16.75, or 1.4%, to $1,195 an ounce,
- Silver shed 12 cents, or 0.7%, to $16.97,
- Platinum fell $24, or 1.9%, to $1,249 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $14, or 1.8%, to $763 an ounce
Turning to weekly results, losses reached 1.8% for gold, 0.8% for silver, 3.9% for platinum and 1.5% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in October
United States Mint bullion coins extended sharp sales gains that began with multi-month highs in September. Silver coin sales were the highest since the week when 2014-dated American Silver Eagles launched on Jan. 13. Gold coin sales were very firm for a third straight week. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coins rose 15,500 ounces after increasing 17,000 ounces in the previous week. Splits were 11,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 12,000 ounces previously, and 4,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalos compared to 5,000 ounces previously. Three weeks ago, gold coin sales hit 20,500 for the highest weekly total since the week ended Jan. 10.
Silver coins soared 2,751,500 ounces after gaining an impressive 1.3 million ounces in the prior week. Splits were 2.74 million ounces in American Silver Eagles compared to 1.29 million ounces previously, and 11,500 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin compared to 10,000 ounces previously.
- American Platinum Eagles leapt 2,500 to end at 16,700. The Mint stopped selling the 99.95% pure platinum coins on Wednesday. They will not be offered again until next year. Sales of the bullion coin kicked off on Mar. 10 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, early October, and the year to date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Current Week||September Sales||October Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins||0||200||2,500||2,700||400||16,700|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||10,000||10,000||50,500||4,000||300,000|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||1,000||6,000||1,000||33,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||4,000||0||8,000||0||92,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||10,000||10,000||30,000||5,000||445,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||0||5,000||4,000||14,500||2,500||142,000|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,290,000||2,740,000||4,140,000||1,650,000||33,901,000|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||1,500||3,500||0||33,000|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||500||0||1,000||0||21,500|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||300||0||800||0||22,000|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,200||800||4,500||500||12,500|