Gold, Silver Fall on Week; US Mint Bullion Logs Worst 2016 Week

Gold bullion coins and bars
Weekly sales of United States Mint bullion coins were the lowest of the year

Gold and silver futures logged weekly losses after a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report drove the two metals sharply lower Friday.

Gold for December delivery on Friday declined $23, or 1.7%, to settle at $1,344.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"U.S. July employment [data] is certainly bearish for gold and silver. It indicates very high chances of a December interest-rate hike and also a very small possibility of an interest-rate hike in September," MarketWatch quoted Chintan Karnani, chief market analyst at Insignia Consultants.

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs in July compared to pre-report forecasts relayed by media of below 190,000 jobs.

Gold futures declined 1% this week after advancing 2.6% last week. On Tuesday, they marked their highest settlement since Mar. 17, 2014. The yellow metal is 26.8% higher than its final settlement in 2015 at $1,060.20 an ounce.

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

"Eighteen analysts and traders took part in the Wall Street survey. Despite a nonfarm payrolls report that boosted the U.S. dollar and pressured gold on Friday, the number of respondents in the bull and bear camps was the same — seven each, or 39%. Another four, or 22%, see gold sideways next week.

Meanwhile, 1,230 Main Street participants submitted votes in online and Twitter surveys. A total of 822 respondents, or 67%, said they were bullish for the week ahead, while 222, or 18%, were bearish. The neutral votes totaled 186, or 15%."

Elsewhere, silver for September delivery tumbled 62.6 cents, or 3.1%, to settle at $19.817 an ounce. Silver futures dropped 2.6% this week after surging 3.3% last week. On Tuesday, they ended at their highest level since July 23, 2014. The precious metal is $6.01, or 43.6%, higher on the year.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • October platinum fell $13.50, or 1.2%, to $1,151.50 an ounce, but edged up 90 cents or less than 0.1% from a week ago.

  • Palladium for September delivery dropped $9.70, or 1.4%, to $696.30 an ounce, for a 1.9% weekly loss.

Both metals are higher on the year so far with platinum up 28.9 % and palladium up 23.9%.

London Precious Metals Prices

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

  • Gold declined $22.35, or 1.6%, to $1,340.40 an ounce.
  • Silver added 6 cents, or 0.3, to $20.22 an ounce.
  • Platinum fell $11, or 1%, $1,146 an ounce.
  • Palladium declined $12, or 1.7%, to $699 an ounce.

For the week, London silver and platinum posted gains of 0.9% and 0.3% while gold and palladium registered losses of 0.1% and 1.1%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016

United States Mint bullion demand retreated further in the last several days with weekly sales of both gold and silver coins the lowest of the year. In week-over-week comparisons:

  • Gold coin sales advanced 5,500 ounces — all from American Gold Eagles, after rising by 12,500 ounces last week. Splits from the week before include 10,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles and 2,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalos.

  • Silver coin sales advanced just 75,000 ounces after climbing by 175,000 ounces previously. For a seventh week in a row, all sales came from American Silver Eagles.

  • American Platinum Eagle sales advanced 19,000 ounces during their first week of availability, which was last week. No gains were reported this week.

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. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday Sales Last Week This Week / August June Sales July Sales 2016 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coins 0 19,000 0 N/A 19,000 19,000
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 7,500 5,000 62,500 30,000 441,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 0 3,000 2,000 48,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 2,000 0 10,000 10,000 96,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 0 25,000 5,000 70,000 50,000 560,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 2,000 0 14,500 10,000 122,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 0 175,000 75,000 2,837,500 1,370,000 27,695,500
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins* 0 0 0 0 0 105,000
2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins* 0 0 0 0 0 75,000
2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 0 34,200 0 34,200


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Seth Riesling

The US Mint’s 13 worldwide silver, gold & platinum bullion coin Authorized Purchasers must have all been on vacation this week! I can’t remember such a slow sales week as this.