Precious metals futures scored another week of gains, with gold and silver extending their weekly winning streaks to six in a row and closing just off from roughly 2-year highs.
Gold for August delivery on Friday fell $3.70, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,358.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The daily loss was attributed to a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report, which showed employers hired 172,000 workers in June. The figure is the largest monthly increase of the year, and follows the paltry increase of 11,000 in May.
"Gold sold off just based off the headline number" from the jobs report, Bloomberg News quoted Bob Haberkorn, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. "One jobs number isn’t going to change the outlook for the Fed right now. It hasn’t changed the fundamental outlook for the global economy, because we still have Brexit and low rates."
Gold futures settled 1.5% higher this week, and are now 28.1% higher than their ending settlement in 2015 at $1,060.20 an ounce. On Wednesday, they closed at $1,367.10 an ounce for their highest price since Mar. 17, 2014.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"A total of 19 analysts and traders took part in Kitco’s survey of market professionals. Eleven, or 58%, are calling for higher prices next week. Six, or 32% expect prices to fall, while two, or 11%, are neutral…
Meanwhile, on Main Street, 1,090 participants submitted votes in an online and Twitter survey this week. A total of 698 respondents, or 64%, said they were bullish for the week ahead, while 275, or 25%, were bearish. The neutral votes totaled 117, or 11%."
Rebounding from Thursday’s decline to advance on Friday for the seventh time in eight sessions, silver for September delivery tacked on 26.1 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $20.099 an ounce.
Silver futures moved up this week by 2.6%, lifting their year-to-date gain to 45.6%. On Wednesday, they ended at $20.203 an ounce for their best close since Aug. 4, 2014.
In PGM futures on Friday and for this week:
October platinum climbed $5.10, or 0.5%, to $1,100.20 an ounce, for a weekly advance of 4.1%.
- Palladium for September delivery added $4.75, or 0.8%, to $617.10 an ounce, gaining 1.9% on the week.
Both metals are higher on the year to date — platinum by 23.2% and palladium by 9.8%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices declined on Friday but moved higher on the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold fell $2.45, or 0.2%, to $1,354.25 an ounce.
- Silver lost 23 cents, or 1.2%, to $19.72 an ounce.
- Platinum declined $4, or 0.4%, $1,082 an ounce, and
- Palladium fell $2, or 0.3%, to $606 an ounce.
Their weekly advances tallied to 1.1% for gold, 2.5% for silver, 4.1% for platinum and 8% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016
United States Mint bullion sales weakened. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coin sales advanced 12,500 ounces after rising by 17,000 ounces last week. The weekly splits include 9,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 14,500 ounces previously, and 3,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalos compared to 2,500 ounces previously.
- Silver coin sales advanced 250,000 ounces this week — their lowest weekly total of the year, after climbing by 938,000 ounces previously. For a third straight week, all sales came from American Silver Eagles.
The U.S. Mint set this week’s allocation of American Silver Eagle at 2,839,500 coins. Bullion distributors ordered 8.8% of them. Demand for 2016 Silver Eagles has slowed sharply in the last few weeks but their sales are still tracking a record. Their year-to-date total of 26,250,500 coins is 8.6% higher than the amount sold through same time in record-breaking year 2015.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. 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 / July||May Sale||June Sales||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||2,000||13,000||7,500||64,500||62,500||413,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||0||1,000||7,000||3,000||47,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||2,000||0||4,000||10,000||10,000||90,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||0||15,000||5,000||60,000||70,000||510,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||2,000||2,500||3,000||18,500||14,500||115,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||0||938,000||250,000||4,498,500||2,837,500||26,500,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||0||105,000|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||11,000||0||75,000|
|2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||34,200||34,200|