Gold scored a slight increase to start the new trading year on Friday after closing 2014 with a 1.5% decline, a second straight annual loss. The yellow metal ended 0.8% lower on the week.
Gold for February delivery added $2.10, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,186.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices moved through a wide $27.60 range in thinned trading volume.
"We got some gold buying at the same time stocks sold off," Bloomberg News quoted George Gero, a precious-metals strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York. "It’s all about asset allocation for the beginning of the year."
In other precious metals futures on Friday and for the week:
Silver for March delivery settled up 17 cents, or 1.1%, to $15.77 an ounce, but declined 2.4% on the week.
April platinum fell $5.60, or 0.5%, to $1,203.90 an ounce and dropped 1.3% from a week ago.
- Palladium for March delivery declined $3.55, or 0.4%, to $794.85 an ounce and slipped 2.9% on the week.
Last year, silver dived $3.77, or 19.5%, platinum plunged $164.30, or 12%, and palladium rallied $80.10, or 11.2%. Palladium’s 2014 annual gain marked a third straight.
London Fix Precious Metals
UK markets had been closed since Wednesday morning. When comparing those AM precious metals fixings to the PM fixings on Friday:
- Gold declined $27.25, or 2.3%, to $1,172 an ounce,
- Silver fell 26 cents, or 1.6%, to $15.71 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $17, or 1.4%, to $1,193 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $7, or 0.9%, to $791 an ounce.
As for the week, platinum edged up 0.3% while the others registered losses of 2.2% for palladium and 0.4% for both gold and silver.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
In a rarity, U.S. Mint bullion sales were flat this week. A large chunk of the agency’s coins have sold out, however. Bullion sales will soar during the next two weeks with the Mint’s 2015-dated gold coins launching on Monday, Jan.5 and its 2015-dated American Silver Eagles debuting on Monday, Jan. 12.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold last week, in December, and last year. Coins with an asterisk (*) have sold out.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Current Week Sales||Last Week||December Sales||2014 Annual Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||16,900|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||1,000||13,000||415,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||46,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||6,000||118,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||5,000||35,000||565,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||0||2,000||4,500||177,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins*||0||501,000||2,459,000||44,006,000|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||33,000|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||1,100||24,400|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||22,000|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||4,000||21,900|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||7,000||34,000|