Gold rebounded Friday but not by enough to sling prices into the black for the week. Still, the yellow metal scored a 7.5% monthly gain, the most for a month since January 2012.
Gold for April delivery on Friday rallied $23.30, or 1.9%, to settle at $1,279.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"The U.S. GDP number released [Friday] has clearly shown that the growth is slowing down and this is a positive sign if you are a buyer of gold," MarketWatch quoted Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at London-based AvaTrade.
U.S. Gross domestic product expanded at a weaker 2.6% annual clip last quarter after the third quarter’s 5% pace, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists had counted on a quarterly pick-up that was closer to 3.2%.
"Gold has found a bit more of a bid with the lower-than-expected GDP number," Bloomberg News quoted David Meger, the director of metal trading at HighRidge Futures LLC in Chicago. "The Fed can be more patient in raising rates, and that’s supportive for precious metals."
On Thursday, gold tumbled $31.30 for its biggest loss since Dec. 19, 2013. Gold prices slipped 1% on the week, marking their first weekly decline in four weeks.
Silver was the biggest precious metal winner in January, soaring 10.3%. On Friday, silver for March delivery gained 44 cents, or 2.6%, to finish at $17.21 an ounce. Silver tumbled 6% on the week, mainly due to its $1.32 drop on Thursday — the biggest since June 20, 2013.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum tacked on $20.90, or 1.7%, to $1,238.20 an ounce, but declined 2.4% from a week ago.
- Palladium for March delivery inched up 80 cents, or 0.1%, to $772.40 an ounce, shed 0.2% on the week.
In January, platinum rose 2.4% while palladium fell 3.3%.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals declined on Friday. In comparing London bullion Fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold lost $8.50, or 0.7%, to $1,260.25 an ounce,
- Silver fell 51 cents, or 2.9%, to $16.92 an ounce,
- Platinum shed $12, or 1%, to $1,221 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $11, or 1.4%, to $775 an ounce.
For the week, palladium advanced 1% while the other metals marked declines of 2.7% for gold, 7.2% for silver and 4.2% for platinum. In January, palladium gave back 2.9% but the other fixings ended higher by 5.1% for gold, 6% for silver and 0.9% for platinum.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in January
United States Mint bullion sales soared from December but they were mixed against a year ago — higher for silver coins but lower for gold coins. January tends to be an exceptionally strong month for the U.S. Mint with releases of newly dated coins. In major comparisons:
American Eagle gold coins reached 81,000 ounces last month, the highest point since January 2014 sales of 91,500 ounces. With newly dated 2015 Gold Eagles released on Jan. 5, sales soared 350% from December.
2015 American Eagle silver coins launched in an allocated basis on Jan. 12. Though sales were rationed, buyers still grabbed 5,530,000 coins, the highest since 5,790,000 coins moved in October when the U.S. Mint was not limiting sales. Silver Eagle sales grew 124.9% from December’s level of 2,459,000 coins and 15.8% from the January 2014 mark of 4,775,000 coins.
American Buffalo gold coins ran up 34,500 in January, the highest since sales of 41,500 in January 2014. The new 2015-dated coins debuted alongside the 2015 Gold Eagles on Jan. 5. January sales soared 667% from December’s 4,500 coins.
Below are sales of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Friday, last week, this week, in December, and the year to date. Coins with an asterisk (*) have sold out for 2014 with 2015-dated versions yet to be released.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Current Week||December Sales||January / 2015 Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||1,000||1,000||13,000||51,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||0||18,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||2,000||0||6,000||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||10,000||15,000||35,000||115,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||2,000||4,500||34,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||130,000||1.059M||769,500||2.459M||5,530,000|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||600||0||1,100||600|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||4,000||0|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||7,000||0|