Gold and Silver Snap Weekly Win Streak; US Coin Sales Firm

Gold and Silver Bullion - Bars and Coins
Gold and silver declined from a week ago. United States Mint coin sales firmed.

Gold rebounded from a two-session losing streak on Friday, supported by safe-haven demand, but prices still slipped 0.6% on the week. The weekly decline was a first in three weeks.

Gold for December delivery climbed $2.70, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,231.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Today’s upward move is all about dollar reacting to Ebola fears in New York," Tom Power, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview according to Bloomberg News. "The long-term price direction will be all about what the Fed does next."

Gold scored a five-week high as recently as Tuesday, and then finished lower for two consecutive days as the dollar firmed and investors turned to stocks and other riskier assets. Falling $16.40 on the Thursday alone, the most since Oct. 3, positioned the precious metal for a weekly loss. Gold futures had their year-to-date gain trimmed to 2.5%.

Gold Outlook

For a second straight week, participants in the latest Kitco News survey tilt bearish for gold. Nine survey takers expect the yellow metal to fall next week, 6 see prices rising and 6 see prices trading sideways or are neutral. Kitco News reports:

"Bearish participants said considering gold could not rally past the $1,255.60 high this week, they expect prices to test the downside of the recent trading range… Those who look for higher prices said they expect support to hold for a new test at the recent highs… Those who expect prices to hold in a range or are neutral on prices said after this week’s run up, and ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, gold values may try to consolidate…"

Kitco gold survey results last week had splits of 10 down, 8 up, and 5 sideways or neutral.

Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures

Silver for December delivery rose 2 cents, or 0.1%, to close at $17.18 an ounce. Silver prices dropped 0.9% from a week ago, which also snapping a two-week winning streak. They are down 11.3% on the year to date.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • January platinum shed $4.10, or 0.3%, to $1,250.90 an ounce. Prices fell 0.8% on the week.

  • Palladium for December delivery added $1.60, or 0.2%, to $780.90 an ounce, rising 3.2% from last week.

For the year so far, platinum has declined 8.9% while palladium has jumped 8.7%.

"For the moment it looks like palladium is the favored metal out of the precious four," MKS Group said in a note. "Supply concerns out of Russia and rumors of stockpiling are helping a positive technical scene on the charts."

London Fix Precious Metals

London precious metals fixings were mixed. When comparing London bullion Fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:

  • Gold was unchanged at $1,232.75 an ounce,
  • Silver added 12 cents, or 0.7%, to $17.19,
  • Platinum declined $7, or 0.6%, to $1,254 an ounce, and
  • Palladium rose $11, or 1.4%, to $784 an ounce

Falling on the week was gold by 0.1%, silver by 1% and platinum by 0.4%. Palladium surged 4.1%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in October

United States Mint bullion coins logged stronger performances. Demand for gold coins climbed this week after dipping previously and following Oct. 10 when weekly sales were the highest since January. Demand for silver coins had also been on a steady retreat after sales in the week ended Oct. 3 scored the highest total since mid-January. But this week, silver coin sales firmed. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:

  • Gold coins added 16,500 ounces after rising 15,500 ounces in the previous week. Splits were 13,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 9,500 ounces previously, and 3,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos compared to 6,000 ounces previously.

  • Silver coins gained 849,000 ounces after advancing 587,500 ounces a week earlier. Splits were 840,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles compared to 580,000 ounces previously, and 9,000 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin compared to 7,500 ounces previously.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Friday, last week, this week, last month, in 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 N/A* 2,700 400 16,700
$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 4,500 6,500 11,500 50,500 46,500 342,500
$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 1,000 1,000 6,000 6,000 38,000
$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 2,000 0 8,000 8,000 100,000
$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 5,000 20,000 10,000 30,000 40,000 480,000
$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins 1,500 6,000 3,500 14,500 20,500 160,000
$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins 125,000 580,000 840,000 4,140,000 3,940,000 36,191,000
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 3,500 0 33,000
Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 400 1,000 400 21,900
Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 800 0 22,000
Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 1,500 1,400 4,500 4,200 16,200


*The U.S. Mint stopped selling bullion Platinum Eagles on Oct. 1. The agency will begin selling 2015-dated issues in early January.

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