Gold, Silver Fall on Week; US Bullion Demand Weakens

Small Gold Bullion Bars
Precious metals settled lower this week Oct 24, 2015

Most precious metals futures declined on Friday, and they all dropped on the week — gold’s first weekly loss in three weeks and silver’s first in four.

On Friday, gold for December delivery shed $3.30, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,162.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close marks the lowest level since Oct. 9 when prices ended at $1,155.90 an ounce.

Despite recent weakness, "gold’s technical outlook remains optimistic in the near term," MarketWatch quoted Matt Weller, senior market analyst at, in a note late Thursday. "The shallow, controlled pullback after the big rally of the previous days has created a clear bullish flag pattern."

As recently as a week ago Thursday, gold scored a four-month high at $1,187.50 an ounce. It has declined 2.1% since. As for the week, gold prices lost 1.7%. That, after jumping 2.4% last week and gaining 1.7% the week before then. The yellow metal increased its losses on the year this week to 1.8%.

In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"Looking ahead, the majority of retail investors continue to expect to see higher gold prices in the short term. This week 235 people participated in Kitco’s online survey. Among the voters, 128, or 54%, are bullish on gold next week; 71 people, or 30%, are bearish in the near term; and 36 people, or 15%, are neutral on gold…

The vote among market professionals was a lot closer with no clear majority view. Out of 35 market experts contacted, 18 responded, of which eight, or 44%, said they expect to see higher prices next week. At the same time, six professionals, or 33%, are bearish on gold, and four participants, or 22%, are neutral."

Moving up and then down from day to day all week, silver for December delivery on Friday dropped a penny, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $15.83 an ounce. Silver prices declined 1.8% on the week after three straight weekly gains of 1.9%; 3.6%; and 1%. On the year so far, the precious metal is 1.5% higher.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • January platinum declined $11.20, or 1.1%, to $1,001.70 an ounce, falling 2.2% from a week ago.

  • Palladium for December delivery added $8.25, or 1.2%, to $693.85 an ounce, but still fell 0.8% on the week.

For the year, platinum is down 17.2% and palladium is off 13.1%.

London Precious Metals Prices

London precious metals were mixed on Friday and lower on the week. In comparing London bullion prices from Thursday PM to Friday PM:

  • Gold declined $5.75, or 0.5%, to $1,161.25 an ounce.
  • Silver jumped 21 cents, or 1.3%, to $15.98 an ounce.
  • Platinum added $6, or 0.6%, to $1,006 an ounce.
  • Palladium gained $27, or 4%, to $699 an ounce.

Weekly losses totaled 1.7% for gold, 0.4% for silver, 0.1% for platinum and 0.6% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in October

For a second week in a row, fewer United States Mint silver and gold coins.

U.S. Mint gold sales advanced 5,500 ounces, falling 42.1% from last week’s 9,500 ounces. Sales splits include 4,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 8,000 ounces previously and 1,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins to match the prior week.

The U.S. Mint limited American Silver Eagle sales this week to 970,000 coins, down from last week’s allocation of 1 million coins. Authorized distributors ordered 926,500 of them, off a tad from last week’s total of 930,000 coins. It also marks only the second time the entire weekly allocation was not claimed since the Mint started limiting sales of the coins after their return from a suspension in July.

Silver Eagle sales at 38,986,000 for the year remain on a record pace, up 8.1% from the same time in 2014. Last year when sales ended at an annual record at 44,006,000, the coins by Oct. 23, 2014 registered sales of 36,066,000. The U.S. Mint also limited Silver Eagle sales last year but not during the summer months.

Below is a listing of United States 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 Sept Sales Oct Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 6,500 2,500 98,500 22,500 542,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 1,000 9,000 3,000 66,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 0 20,000 4,000 146,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 0 15,000 10,000 175,000 45,000 875,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 1,500 1,500 22,000 10,000 180,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 0 930,000 926,500 3,804,500 2,931,500 38,986,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* 35,000
2015 Kisatchie 5 Oz Silver Coins* 42,000
2015 Blue Ridge Parkway 5 Oz Silver Coins* 45,000
2015 Bombay Hook 5 Oz Silver Coins* 45,000 45,000
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