Gold, silver and platinum declined heading into the three-day weekend with U.S. markets closed on Monday for Memorial Day. Gold’s loss kept it in the red for the week, its first weekly decline in three.
Gold for June delivery was actually almost flat on the day, dropping a dime to settle at $1,204 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
New inflation data from the U.S. Labor Department played a part in yellow metal’s direction, according to some analysts. Core inflation in April rose more than expected, advancing 0.3% compared to the prior month’s increase of 0.2%. The monthly gain was the biggest since January 2013.
"Even though it was not a big jump in inflation, it was enough to bring back the rate anxiety," Bloomberg News quoted Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. "You saw an immediate reaction in dollar, and the strength was a headwind for gold."
Gold prices this week slipped 1.7%, cutting a bit more than half from last week’s increase. Gold is 1.7% higher than its final 2014 settlement of $1,184.10 an ounce. Going forward, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Looking at the results of the online survey, 256 people voted; of those, 104 participants, or 41%, expect to see higher gold prices next week, 117 people, or 46%, expect to see lower prices and 35, or 14%, are neutral.
This week, out of 33 market experts contacted, 19 responded; of those, 8 participants, or 42%, see lower prices, 6 experts, or 32%, see higher prices and 5, or 26%, are neutral on the gold market."
Snapping a two-session winning streak, silver for July delivery shed 8 cents to close at $17.05 an ounce. Silver prices declined 2.9% this week after soaring last week by 6.7%. The white metal is still 9.3% higher on the year.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
July platinum dipped $3.70, or 0.3%, to $1,148.60 an ounce, falling 1.8% from a week ago.
- Palladium for June delivery gained $7.90, or 1%, to $784 an ounce, but declined 1.4% on the week.
For the year to date, platinum is down 5% and palladium is off 1.8%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices were mixed on the day and mostly lower on the week. In comparing London bullion prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold declined 90 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,204.10 an ounce,
- Silver added 7 cents, or 0.4%, to $17.25 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $3, or 0.3%, to $1,143 an ounce, and
- Palladium lost $7, or 0.9%, to $769 an ounce.
Silver ended flat on the week while the other metals in London logged declines totaling 1.3% for both gold and platinum and 2% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in May
United States Mint coin sales climbed much quicker this week following sluggish performances last week. In the latest weekly bullion sales comparisons:
Gold coins advanced 10,500 ounces after rising 4,500 ounces in the prior week. Splits were 7,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 2,500 ounces previously and 3,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins compared 2,000 ounces previously.
Silver coins rose 590,000 ounces after gaining just 225,000 ounces in the previous week. For a second week, all sales came from American Silver Eagles since the released 2015-dated America the Beautiful Five Ounce Bullion Coins have sold out. The next five-ounce issue will not launch until June 22.
Below is a listing of U.S. Mint bullion products that shows the number of coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||April Sales||May Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||500||1,000||6,000||23,500||9,500||132,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||2,000||0||4,000||2,000||31,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||0||0||0||4,000||6,000||54,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||0||5,000||10,000||30,000||30,000||295,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||500||2,000||3,500||10,000||7,000||73,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||0||225,000||590,000||2,851,500||1,648,500||16,571,000|
|2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–||35,000|
|2015 Kisatchie 5 Oz Silver Coins*||0||0||0||30,000||12,000||42,000|