Gold and other precious metals climbed Friday, padding their gains in the first week of trading for the year. Gold’s weekly advance, up 2.5%, is the first in four weeks.
Gold for February delivery turned up $7.60, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,216.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Safe-haven demand appears to be rising again as oil prices slump and concerns grow about Greece exiting the euro," ScotiaMocatta analysts said in a note, adding that physical demand in top consumer China had also been a factor. "We are wary that the safe-haven buying may not last if concerns over Greece subside."
"Gold is supported in this tight $1,200/$1,230 range because people are still a bit worried that with low inflationary pressures the Fed will not hike interest rates so soon," Reuters quoted ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele.
Silver for March delivery edged up 3 cents, or 0.2%, to close at $16.42 an ounce. Silver prices on the week shot up 4.1%.
In PGM futures on Friday:
- April platinum climbed $7.10, or 0.6%, to finish at $1,230.10 an ounce.
- Palladium for March delivery rose $7.05, or 0.9%, to settle at $800.15 an ounce.
For the week, platinum gained 2.2% and palladium added 0.7%.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals mostly climbed Friday, with silver the exception. In comparing London bullion Fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold added $2.25, 0.2%, to $1,217.75 an ounce,
- Silver slipped 13 cents, or 0.8%, to $16.24 an ounce,
- Platinum rose $4, or 0.3%, to $1,225 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $4, or 0.5%, to $795 an ounce.
London bullion fixings advanced on the week with increases totaling 3.9% for gold, 3.4% for silver, 2.7% for platinum and 0.5% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
United States Mint gold coins registered solid sales to start the year. Weekly gains totaled 63,500 ounces with splits of 45,000 in 22-karat American Gold Eagles and 18,500 ounces in 24-karat American Gold Buffalo coins. Most of those sales were logged on Monday, when the U.S. Mint released its 2015-dated gold coins. Sales on that day alone had already doubled those from December.
Last year’s bullion American Silver Eagle sold out on Dec. 24, so silver sales have been silent since. Next week will see a flurry of silver coin buying. The Mint will release its 2015-dated Silver Eagles on Monday.
Below is a sales breakdown of United States Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold last week, this week, in December, last year, and the year to date. Coins with an asterisk (*) have sold out for 2014.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Current Week||December Sales||2014 Sales||January / 2015 Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||16,900||0|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||26,000||13,000||415,500||26,000|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||13,000||0||46,000||13,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||24,000||6,000||118,000||24,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||65,000||35,000||565,000||65,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||18,500||4,500||177,500||18,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||2.459M||44.006M||0|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||33,000||0|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||1,100||24,400||0|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||22,000||0|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||4,000||21,900||0|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||7,000||34,000||0|