Gold Ends Week at 9-Month Low; US Mint Bullion Sales Best Since January

gold bar and notes
Most precious metals declined this week. Meanwhile, sales of U.S. Mint bullion coins were the highest since January when new 2016-dated editions launched.

Gold futures declined for the ninth time in ten sessions Friday, closing at a nine-month low and logging their second straight weekly loss.

Gold for December delivery fell $8.20, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,208.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the lowest since Feb. 16 when prices ended at $1,208.20 an ounce. The precious metal has suffered much of the week as the U.S. dollar drove steadily to its highest level since 2003.

"Given these headwinds, gold is holding its own relatively well at the moment," Reuters quoted Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann. "You could easily argue for lower prices, given the sharp appreciation of the dollar and the sharp rise in bond yields."

Gold futures shed 1.3% this week after diving 6.2% last week. Still, the yellow metal is 14% higher on the year to date.

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 this week’s Wall Street survey, and they were split right down the middle — nine each — on whether gold would bounce or continue to slide over the next week…

Meanwhile, 689 Main Street participants submitted votes in either an online or Twitter survey. A total of 301 respondents, or 44%, said they were bullish for the week ahead, while 271, or 39%, were bearish. The neutral votes totaled 113, or 16%.

Closing down on Friday for the fifth time in six sessions, silver for December delivery lost 14.8 cents, or 0.9%, to $16.624 an ounce. The settlement is the weakest since June 7 when silver finished at $16.394 an ounce.

Silver futures sank 4.4% this week after tumbling 5.4% last week. Two straight weeks of losses have trimmed their gain on the year to 20.4%.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • January platinum dropped $23.10, or 2.4%, to $922 an ounce, for a 2.3% weekly decline.

  • Palladium for December delivery dipped $1.85, or 0.3%, to $727.80 an ounce, paring its increase on the week to 6.3%.

Both metals are higher so far this year with gains of 3.2% for platinum and 29.5% for palladium.

London Precious Metals Prices

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

  • Gold fell $15.75, or 1.3%, to $1,211 an ounce.
  • Silver declined 53 cents, or 3.1%, to $16.51 an ounce.
  • Platinum fell $12, or 1.3%, to $923 an ounce.
  • Palladium was unchanged at $718 an ounce.

London palladium prices advanced 4.8% for the week while the other metal prices posted losses totaling 2.1% for gold, 11.2% for silver and 5.2% for platinum.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016

Weaker precious metals encouraged United States Mint distributors to order more bullion coins. Weekly sales of the U.S. Mint gold and silver coins advanced the most since January when the newly dated 2016-editions launched. In more recent week-over-week comparisons:

  • Gold coin sales surged 57,000 ounces after rising 27,500 ounces previously. This week’s splits include 45,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 23,500 ounces previously and 11,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo compared to 4,000 ounces previously.

  • Silver coin sales advanced 1,688,000 ounces after rising 425,000 ounces previously. Last week’s sales came entirely from American Silver Eagles. This week’s splits include 1,551,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles and 137,000 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. The latter includes 124,000 ounces in the newest five ounce release which features a design commemorating Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) in South Carolina.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion coins with columns listing the number of bullion 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 Oct Sales Nov Sales 2016 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coins* 20,000
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 5,500 19,000 39,000 100,500 74,500 740,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 1,000 1,000 8,000 5,000 69,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 6,000 2,000 16,000 12,000 144,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 25,000 55,000 75,000 80,000 860,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 500 4,000 11,500 28,500 20,000 197,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 151,000 425,000 1,551,000 3,825,000 2,196,000 36,596,500
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins* 105,000
2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins* 75,000
2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 300 200 300 36,800
2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 2,300 3,100 2,600 35,200
2016 Fort Moultrie 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 24,800 3,100 24,800 24,800


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