Precious metals futures rallied on Friday and for the week. Safe-haven demand propelled gold and silver for their first weekly increases in three weeks, padding their sharp year to date gains. On Friday, gold’s close was the highest in 13 months and silver ended at its best price in three weeks.
Gold for April delivery on Friday settled up $12.50, or 1%, to $1,270.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the highest since Feb. 2, 2015 when gold closed at $1,276.90 an ounce. Gains were realized even as equities climbed.
"For now, the inverse correlation between gold and U.S. stocks seems to be decoupling," MarketWatch quoted Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group. "The reason for this is most likely a result of gold buyers taking money out of cash and other stable assets, strategically shifting those assets into what they perceive as safe."
Gold prices rallied 4.1% on the week after slipping 0.8% last week. They are 19.9% higher so far this year. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"This week, 1,254 people participated in Kitco’s online survey, of which 1,047 participants, or 83%, said they are bullish on gold next week. At the same time, 121 people, or 10%, said they are bearish on gold next week, and 86 people, or 7%, are neutral.
A majority of market analysts also expect gold prices to move higher in the near term. Out of 34 market experts contacted, 19 responded, of which 10, or 53%, said they expect to see higher prices next week. Four professionals, or 21%, said they see lower prices, and five analysts, or 26%, are neutral on the market."
Elsewhere on Friday, silver for May delivery surged 54.8 cents, or 3.6%, to settle at $15.694 an ounce. The close was the highest since Feb. 12 when the precious metal ended at $15.79 an ounce. Silver prices jumped 6.7% on the week after sliding 4.3% last week. They are $1.89, or 13.7%, higher than their final 2015 close of $13.80 an ounce.
In PGM futures on Friday and for this week:
April platinum tacked on $43.60, or 4.6%, to $986.30 an ounce, and moved 7.8% higher than a week ago.
- Palladium for June delivery rose $20.80, or 3.8%, to $563 an ounce, soaring 16.7% on the week.
For the year to date, platinum is 10.4% higher and palladium this week moved into black, up slightly by 0.2%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals advanced on Friday and for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold added $27.25, or 2.2%, to $1,277.50 an ounce.
- Silver added 46 cents, or 3.1%, to $15.43 an ounce.
- Platinum added $20, or 2.1%, to $960 an ounce.
- Palladium added $26, or 5%, to $550 an ounce.
Their weekly gains totaled 4.2% for gold, 1.7% for silver, 3.4% for platinum and 11.8% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2016
U.S. Mint weekly bullion sales were similar to a week ago.
Gold coin sales rose 16,000 ounces this week compared to 14,000 ounces last week. Sales splits include 14,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles versus 9,500 ounces previously and 2,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins compared to 4,500 ounces previously.
Silver coin sales moved up by 1 million ounces this week after rising by 1,223,500 last week. American Silver Eagles accounted for this week’s entire total. Last week, the Mint sold 1,073,500 ounces in Silver Eagles and 150,000 ounces in Shawnee National Forest Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins.
The U.S. Mint is rationing weekly sales of American Silver Eagles because of silver planchet shortages. The final batch of this week’s supply was ordered on Thursday. Silver Eagles are tracking a record pace with year to date sales of 11 million — 20.4% higher than through the same time in record year 2015.
Below is a sales breakdown of United States Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods of time.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Jan Sales||Feb Sales||Mar Sales||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||6,000||10,000||89,000||67,500||1,000||157,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||1,000||0||23,000||6,000||0||29,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||0||2,000||2,000||36,000||12,000||0||48,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||10,000||25,000||35,000||145,000||100,000||10,000||255,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||0||4,500||2,000||34,000||19,000||0||53,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||0||1,073,500||1,000,000||5,954,500||4,782,000||263,500||11,000,000|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||30,000||0||N/A||105,000||0||105,000|