Gold Near Flat on Week; US Mint Coin Sales Quicken

Gold Bullion and Gold Bars
Gold and other precious metals rallied on Friday. U.S. Mint bullion coin sales picked up.

Precious metals surged on Friday, rolling expected weekly losses for silver, platinum and palladium into solid gains. Gold’s rally wasn’t quite strong enough to erase declines from the three previous sessions.

Gold for February delivery on Friday rebounded $21.80, or 1.9%, to settle at $1,195.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices edged down 70 cents from a week ago.

"Gold and silver posted good price gains and closed at technically bullish weekly high closes Friday," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report. "Short covering from the futures side and end-of-the-year bargain hunting in both cash and futures were featured in gold and silver. Thin, post-holiday trading conditions exacerbated the bigger daily price moves."

Gold prices have slipped $7, or 0.6%, since ending 2013 at $1,202.30 an ounce.

Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures

Silver for March delivery jumped 44 cents, or 2.8%, to $16.15 an ounce, ranging from $15.69 to $15.87. The precious metal advanced on the week by 0.7% but has plunged 16.6% on the year.

In rounding out the precious metals complex on Friday and for the week:

  • April platinum tacked on $27.60, or 2.3%, to $1,219.90 an ounce, ending 1.9% higher than a week ago.

  • Palladium for March delivery settled up $10.80, or 1.3%, to $818.60 an ounce and advanced 1.7% on the week.

On the year to date, platinum has fallen 11.2% while palladium has surged 14%.

London Fix Precious Metals

UK markets have been closed since Wednesday morning. Those AM precious fixings were:

  • Gold at $1,177 an ounce,
  • Silver at $15.77 an ounce,
  • Platinum at $1,190 an ounce, and
  • Palladium at $809 an ounce.

Weekly results are mixed with palladium 1.8% higher and the other London bullion fixings lower by 1.6% for gold and 0.6% for both silver and platinum.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December

United States Mint bullion sales quickened this week with the bureau’s flagship Silver Eagle selling out and its gold coins rising for the first time in three weeks.

Silver coins advanced 501,000 ounces after gaining 245,000 ounces in the previous week. Sales came entirely from American Silver Eagles compared to last week when they included 235,500 ounces of the coins as well as 9,500 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. 2014-dated Silver Eagles sold out Tuesday, ending the record for a year 444,006,000 ounces. Next year’s Silver Eagle goes on sale Jan. 12, 2015.

Gold coin sales rose by 3,500 ounces after having been stuck for two straight weeks at zero. The U.S. Mint on Dec. 5 announced that it had completed production of the 2014-dated gold coins and that it would begin selling 2015-dated gold coins on Jan. 5. Buyers for the next two weeks stayed on the sidelines, seemingly to wait for the new versions.

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, in December, 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 November Sales December Sales YTD Sales
$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins* 0 0 0 0 0 16,900
$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 0 1,000 49,000 13,000 415,500
$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 0 0 8,000 0 46,000
$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 0 0 12,000 6,000 118,000
$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins 0 0 5,000 40,000 35,000 565,000
$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins 0 0 2,000 12,500 4,500 177,500
$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins* 0 235,500 501,000 3,426,000 2,459,000 44,006,000
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins* 0 0 0 0 0 33,000
Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 500 0 900 1,100 24,400
Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins* 0 0 0 0 0 22,000
Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 1,400 0 1,700 4,000 21,900
Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins 0 0 0 27,000 7,000 34,000


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