Gold prices tumbled on Friday yet marked their third weekly gain in four weeks. Silver prices rallied from a week ago.
Also, United States Mint bullion coin sales strengthened. The agency’s American Silver Eagles are within days of breaking the all-time annual sales record.
On Friday, gold for February delivery declined $17.30, or 1.4%, to settle at $1,190.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The precious metal was pressured, opined analysts, by a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report. The Labor Department said employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the biggest gain since January 2012.
"The jobs data brought in a lot of sellers," Bloomberg News quoted Alfonso Esparza, a senior currency analyst in Toronto at Oanda Corp. "With the dollar continuing to march ahead we should see gold continue to trade weak."
On Thursday, gold prices shed a dollar after rising $9.30 on Wednesday and on Tuesday they tumbled $18.70 after soaring $42.60 on Monday, the most since September 2013. As for the week, gold finished up 1.3% and that paired its losses on the year to date to 1%.
For a second straight week, results of the latest Kitco News gold survey weigh more bearish than bullish for the precious metal. Seven survey takers expect gold to rise next week, 10 see prices falling and 4 see prices trading sideways or are neutral. Kitco News reports:
"Those who remain bullish on gold’s price said they’re impressed how it’s held up even in the face of a stronger dollar… Those who see weaker prices said they think gold is a sale when prices rally… Some participants said they expect gold will hold in the current trading range."
Kitco’s gold survey results last week had splits of 5 up, 11 down, and 3 sideways or neutral.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Down for the third time in four days, silver for March delivery fell 32 cents, or 1.9%, to $16.26 an ounce. Silver prices still rallied 4.5% from a week ago, thanks in large part to a $1.14 gain on Monday. Prices are off 16.1% from the end of 2013.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
January platinum lost $26.40, or 2.1%, to $1,219.50 an ounce, but rose 0.7% on the week.
- Palladium for March delivery added 55 cents to $802.70 an ounce, but fell 1.3% from a week ago.
On the year to date, palladium has jumped 11.7% while platinum has plummeted 11.2%.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals declined on the day but most advanced on the week. In contrasting London bullion Fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold fell $15, or 1.2%, to $1,194 an ounce,
- Silver shed 9 cents, or 0.6%, to $16.33 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $8, or 0.6%, to $1,231 an ounce, and
- Palladium gained $8, or 1%, to $806 an ounce
Palladium slipped 0.4% from a week ago while the other metals notched weekly increases of 1% for gold, 2.3% for silver and 2.2% for platinum.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
United States Mint weekly bullion sales were stronger for both gold and silver products. In the latest week-over-week bullion coin comparisons:
Silver coins added 867,000 ounces after American Silver Eagles rose by 736,500 ounces a week earlier. Splits this week were 821,500 ounces in American Silver Eagles and 45,500 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin. 2014 Silver Eagle sales at 42,368,500 coins are only 306,501 away from breaking last year’s annual sales record.
Gold coins added 19,000 ounces after rising by 12,000 ounces in the previous week. Splits this week were 16,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 10,500 ounces previously, and 2,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos compared to 1,5000 ounces previously.
In related news, the United States Mint on Friday announced sales dates for its 2015-dated bullion coins.
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, and the year to date. Coins with an asterisk (*) have sold out.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Current Week / Month||November Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||16,700|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||7,500||12,000||49,000||414,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||3,000||0||8,000||46,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||2,000||2,000||6,000||12,000||118,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||10,000||10,000||30,000||40,000||560,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||1,000||1,500||2,500||12,500||175,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||159,000||736,500||821,500||3,426,000||42,368,500|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||33,000|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||300||900||23,600|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||22,000|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||600||0||1,800||1,700||19,700|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||7,000||27,000||34,000|