Gold Falls 1% on Week, Silver Gains 1.5%

Silver coins and silver bullion bar
Precious metals advanced on Friday and all but gold finished higher on the week

Precious metals futures on Friday rebounded from their sharp prior-day losses, and most advanced on the week. Gold was the exception, failing to recover completely from a settlement on Thursday that was the lowest in over 6 years.

Gold for February delivery climbed $15.40, or 1.5%, to close at $1,065 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Gold is trading in line with aggregates such as the dollar, as battered investors try to understand the implications of the new era of the Fed rates for gold," Bloomberg News quoted Matthew Turner, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London.

On Wednesday, the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in nine years. Gold held steady until Thursday, when it settled at its lowest level since Oct. 30, 2009.

Across the entire week of trading, prices fell 1%. They lost 0.8% last week after rallying 2.6% the week before then. Gold prices have now declined in eight of the last nine weeks and they are down 10.1% from their final 2014 settlement price of $1,184.10 an ounce.

In looking ahead to the next week’s holiday-shortened trading period, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"This week, 322 people participated in the online survey; of those, 136, or 42%, are bullish [for] prices next week. On the other side, 143 people, or 44%, said they expect are bearish on prices next week and 43 people, or 13%, were neutral on the market…

The results of Kitco’s professional survey were similar to the online results as there was no clear majority in sentiment. Out of 36 market experts contacted, 17 responded, of which eight, or 47%, said they expect to see higher prices next week. At the same time, six analysts, or 35%, expect to see lower prices, and three people, or 18%, are neutral."

Elsewhere, silver for March delivery surged 39.3 cents, or 2.9%, to settle at $14.096 an ounce. Silver prices advanced 1.5% on the week, trimming their loss on the year to 9.6%. As recently as Monday, and nearly again on Thursday, the precious metal posted its lowest close since July 30, 2009.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • January platinum gained $16.10, or 1.9%, to $860.80 an ounce, rising 2% from a week ago.

  • Palladium for March delivery added $1.50, or 0.3%, to $558.95 an ounce, advancing 2.6% on the week.

Until their weighty losses on Thursday, platinum was riding a four-session winning streak and palladium had logged a third straight day of gains.

Year-to-date, platinum has dropped 28.8% and palladium has plunged 30%.

London Precious Metals Prices

London precious metals were mixed on Friday and on the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:

  • Gold rose $13.10, or 1.3%, to $1,062.50 an ounce.
  • Silver fell 26 cents, or 1.9%, to $13.82 an ounce.
  • Platinum added $4, or 0.5%, to $852 an ounce.
  • Palladium fell $15, or 2.6%, to $553 an ounce.

Compared to a week earlier, gold declined 0.9% and silver fell 0.7% while platinum rose 1.9% and palladium gained 1.8%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales

Most United States Mint bullion products have sold out and 2016 editions will not launch until Jan. 11.

The biggest bullion news this week was the sellout on Tuesday of American Silver Eagles at a record 47 million. The all-time annual high jumped 6.8% from the previous 2014 record of 44,006,000 coins.

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 Nov Sales Dec Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins* N/A N/A N/A 80,500 N/A 626,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 1,000 0 7,000 1,000 75,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins* N/A N/A N/A 12,000 N/A 158,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins* N/A N/A N/A 100,000 N/A 980,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 500 1,000 38,000 1,500 220,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins* N/A 1,020,000 1,130,000 4,824,000 2,333,500 47,000,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* N/A 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
2015 Saratoga 5 Oz Silver Coins* N/A 35,800 9,200 45,000
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