Gold, Silver Plunge on Week; US Mint Bullion Sales Firm

9999 Gold Bars and 22-karat American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins
Precious metals plunged this week while sales of U.S. Mint bullion coins firmed

Gold futures extended their losing streak to seven straight sessions, closing the trading week at a three-month low.

Gold for December delivery declined $16.50, or 1.5%, to settle at $1,087.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close was the lowest since Aug. 5 when prices ended at $1,085.60 an ounce. The yellow metal was hit on Friday by a U.S. Labor Department report showing better-than-expected jobs data.

"With numbers like these, the Fed are almost duty bound to raise rates within this year," Reuters quoted Jonathan Butler, Mitsubishi precious metals analyst. "The dollar is approaching 3 month highs and U.S. treasury yields are the highest since July. Gold could retrace to the lows for the year," he added.

Gold prices tumbled 4.7% this week, a third weekly decline in a row, and advanced their losses on the year to 8.1%. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"There were 327 retail investors that participated in Kitco’s online survey, and the sentiment has turned negative on gold. The majority expect gold prices to make a move lower in the short term with 180 voters, or 55%, making bearish calls on the metal. The remaining 105 participants, or 32%, see higher prices, while 42 voters, or 13%, are neutral on prices for the week ahead.

For the market professionals, the bulls and bears seem to be coming head to head with regards to gold prices next week. Of the 37 participants contacted, 15 responded, of which 6, or 40%, say prices should move up. The remaining 6, or 40%, are bearish while 3 participants, 20%, are neutral as they expect gold to look for direction."

Dropping on Friday for a fifth consecutive session, silver for December delivery fell 29 cents, or 2%, to settle at $14.69 an ounce. The close was the lowest since Oct. 1 when prices ended at $14.51 an ounce. Silver plunged 5.6% on the week after falling 1.6% last week and 1.8% the week before then. As for the year, prices are 5.8% lower than their final 2014 settlement at $15.60 an ounce.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • January platinum shed $13.10, or 1.4%, to end at $940 an ounce, falling 5% from a week ago.

  • Palladium for December delivery added $6.65, or 1.1%, to settle at $612.95 an ounce, but plummeted 9.5% on the week.

For the year so far, the two metals have dived — 22.3% for platinum and 23.2% for palladium.

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 fell $17.40, or 1.6%, to $1,088.90 an ounce.
  • Silver added 6 cents, or 0.4, to $15.08 an ounce.
  • Platinum declined $15, or 1.6%, to $939 an ounce.
  • Palladium lost $6, or 1%, to $606 an ounce.

Weekly losses totaled 4.7% for both gold and silver, 5% for platinum and 10.5% for palladium. 

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in October

United States Mint bullion sales rose sharply from the previous week.

U.S. Mint gold sales advanced 12,500 ounces, more than doubling last week’s 5,000 ounces. Sales splits include 8,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 4,500 ounces previously and 4,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins compared to 500 ounces previously.

Weekly sales of American Silver Eagles climbed 1,079,500 ounces compared to the prior week’s 856,500 ounces. Sales at 40,922,000 for the year continue at a record pace, up 4.1% from the same time in 2014. Last year when Silver Eagle sales ended at an annual record of 44,006,000, the coins by Nov. 6, 2014 logged sales of 39,301,000.

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 / November Oct Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 3,000 3,500 4,500 26,000 550,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 1,000 0 4,000 67,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 0 2,000 4,000 148,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 5,000 30,000 50,000 910,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 4,000 500 4,500 10,500 185,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 316,000 856,500 1,079,500 3,788,000 40,922,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* Sold Out 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
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Danny J. Morano

Buy, Buy, Buy!