Most precious metals ended lower Friday after in-tandem gains in the prior two sessions. Gold was the exception, posting a modest gain. All but palladium advanced on the week.
Gold for December delivery gained $6.40, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,159.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the highest since July 8 when gold finished at $1,163.50 an ounce.
"You have to appreciate the massive move which we have experienced during the past couple of days," MarketWatch quoted Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. "This was primarily on the back of the dollar softness and due to the qualms around the emerging markets. The Chinese economic data releases today has also helped the metal as this presages more headwinds" for the U.S. Federal Reserve.
China’s factory activity fell to a six-and-a-half year low in August.
Gold futures soared 4.2% on the week — the most since mid-January, but they are down 2.1% since their final settlement last year at $1,184.10 an ounce. Looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"This week, 304 people participated in Kitco’s weekly online gold survey; among the participants, 193 people, or 63% are bullish on gold next week; 74 voters, or 24%, are bearish on the yellow metal, while 37 people, or 12%, are neutral…
The results of Kitco’s market professional survey, was relatively similar to Main Street as a strong majority expect this rally to continue next week. Out of 35 market experts contacted, 18 responded, of which 11, or 61%, said they expect to see higher prices next week. At the same time, four professionals, or 22%, said they see lower prices, and three people, or 17%, are neutral on gold."
Silver for September delivery declined 22 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $15.30 an ounce. Silver prices gained 0.6% on the week, trimming their year-to-date losses to 1.9%.
In other precious metals futures on Friday and for the week:
October platinum fell $7.80, or 0.8%, to $1,027.10 an ounce, gaining 3.3% from a week ago.
- Palladium for September delivery tumbled $18.80, or 3%, to $604.45 an ounce, falling 2.1% on the week.
For the year so far, platinum is off 15.1% and palladium is down by 24.3%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals were mixed on Friday and for the week. In comparing London bullion prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold rose $8.80, or 0.8%, to $1,156.50 an ounce.
- Silver dipped 4 cents, or 0.3%, to $15.46 an ounce.
- Platinum added $11, or 1.1%, to $1,028 an ounce.
- Palladium declined $7, or 1.1%, to $610 an ounce.
For the week, gold added 3.4% and platinum rose 3.1% while silver dipped 0.6% and palladium declined 2.1%.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in August
United States Mint bullion sales quickened from a week ago. Gold coins moved up 16,500 ounces after last week’s 13,500 ounces. Sales splits include 15,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 10,500 previously and 1,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins compared to 3,000 ounces previously.
Silver coins advanced by 1,187,500 ounces after rising by 1 million ounces last week.
For a third straight week, increases came entirely from American Silver Eagles with America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins sold out and the next one not available until Sept. 30. The Mint’s entire weekly allocation of Silver Eagles was claimed by Wednesday.
American Silver Eagle sales for the year so far at 30,682,500 coins are on a record pace. In 2014 when sales ended at a record 44,006,000, the coins by Aug. 21, 2014 reached sales of 27,713,500. The United States Mint last year also allocated sales of Silver Eagles, but not during the summer months.
Below is a listing of U.S. Mint bullion products with 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||This Week||July Sales||August Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||0||7,500||10,500||144,500||22,000||365,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||1,000||2,000||10,000||3,000||49,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||0||4,000||0||28,000||6,000||104,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||0||15,000||35,000||135,000||55,000||580,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||0||3,000||1,500||32,000||5,500||134,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||0||1,000,000||1,187,500||5,529,000||3,367,500||30,682,500|
|2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–||35,000|
|2015 Kisatchie 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–||42,000|
|2015 Blue Ridge Parkway 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–||10,000||–||45,000|