Precious metals tumbled on Friday as the dollar surged on better-than-expected U.S. jobs data. The metals also lost ground on the week, led by a 3.5% weekly decline in gold.
On Friday, gold for April delivery fell $28.10, or 2.2%, to settle at $1,234.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"The U.S. economic strength is hurting gold," Bloomberg News quoted Charlie Bilello, the director of research who helps oversee $220 million of assets at New York-based Pension Partners LLC. "People are betting on a rate hike in June, and the dollar strength makes gold unattractive."
Despite the heavy losses this week, gold prices have advanced 4.3% since they closed last year at $1,184.10 an ounce.
Elsewhere, silver for March delivery plummeted 50 cents, or 2.9%, to close at $16.69 an ounce. Silver prices logged four-straight session gains and then slipped 20 cents on Thursday. For the week, the precious metal declined 51 cents or 3%. Silver is up on the year-to-date by 7%.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum fell $28.10, or 2.3%, to $1,221.60 an ounce, and lost 1.3% on the week.
- Palladium for March delivery settled down $14.40, or 1.8%, to $781.30 an ounce. Palladium still climbed 1.2% from a week ago.
As for the year so far, platinum has gained 1% while palladium has fallen 2.1%.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals ended Friday on a mixed note. In comparing London bullion Fix prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold declined $18.25, or 1.5%, to $1,241 an ounce,
- Silver rose 22 cents, or 1.3%, to $17.22 an ounce,
- Platinum gained $4, or 0.3%, to $1,239 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $2, or 0.3%, to $786 an ounce.
For the week, gold fell 1.5% while the other London fixings logged gains of 1.8% for silver, 1.5% for platinum and 1.4% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in February
United States Mint bullion sales have slowed since the early weeks in January when buyers stacked up on newly dated issues. For a summary about the robust sales in January, read this article. In the latest weekly sales comparisons:
Silver coins gained 752,000 ounces after advancing by 769,500 ounces last week. All silver sales from this week and last came from American Silver Eagles as 2015-dated five ounce America the Beautiful silver coins have not been released.
Gold coins rose by 4,500 ounces, matching the prior week. Splits were 2,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles and 2,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins — both also matching the previous week.
Below are sales of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Friday, last week, this week so far, in January, and the year-to-date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||This Week||January Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||1,000||2,000||51,500||53,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||18,000||18,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||36,000||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||15,000||5,000||115,000||120,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||1,000||2,000||2,000||34,500||36,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||141,500||769,500||752,000||5,530,000||6,282,000|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||600||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||0||0|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0|
Coins with an asterisk (*) have sold out for 2014 with 2015-dated versions yet to be released.