Gold futures snapped a three-session losing streak but still logged their seventh straight weekly decline. Trading activity was subdued ahead of next week’s holiday-shortened trading schedule. Most markets are closed Monday in observance of Christmas.
Gold for February delivery added $2.90, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,133.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Both gold and equities traded lower over the last two days, as the U.S. dollar continues to hold and gain value," MarketWatch quoted Gary Wagner, of Thegoldforecast.com. "The underlying, predominant influence continues to be the squaring of positions as traders prepare for the upcoming holiday season."
Gold futures lost 0.3% this week, paring their year-to-date increase to 6.9%. The yellow metal has given up $170.90, or 13.1%, since Nov. 4 when it last closed higher for a week.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Seventeen traders and analysts took part in a Wall Street survey. Six voters, or 35%, see gold prices rising by next Friday. Seven, or 41%, expect prices to fall, while four, 24%, look for a sideways market.
Meanwhile, 402 participants took part in the Main Street survey. A total of 139, or 35%, called for gold to rise, while 186, or 46%, saw lower prices. The remaining 77, or 19%, were neutral."
Closing lower for a third day in a row to register their second straight week of losses, silver for March delivery fell 11.2 cents, or 0.7%, to $15.759 an ounce. The settlement is the weakest since April 8 when prices ended at $15.384 an ounce. Silver futures declined 2.8% this week after diving 4.4% last week. Still, they are 14.2% higher so far this year.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
January platinum dropped $14.20, or 1.6%, to $893.20 an ounce, for a 4.4% weekly loss.
- Palladium for March delivery fell $1.75, or 0.3%, to $654.85 an ounce, falling 6.1% on the week.
For the year to date, platinum is unchanged while palladium is 16.5% higher.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices were down on Friday and, for the most part, lower on the week. In comparing final prices from Thursday to Friday:
- Gold dipped 35 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,131 an ounce.
- Silver slipped 3 cents, or 0.2%, to $15.74 an ounce.
- Platinum lost $1, or 0.1%, to $905 an ounce.
- Palladium fell $1, or 0.2%, to $654 an ounce.
For the week, platinum edged up 0.1% while the other metal prices fell by less than 0.1% for gold, 1.9% for silver, and 4.9% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016
With the U.S. Mint’s most popular 2016-dated bullion coins selling out in early December, their weekly sales were modest for a second week in a row. Gains included 2,500 ounces in American Buffalo 1 oz. gold coins. New 2017-dated coins launch on Jan. 9.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing 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||2016 Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coins*||–||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins*||–||129,000||23,000||817,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||1,000||0||7,000||3,000||74,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins*||–||18,000||2,000||152,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins*||–||105,000||40,000||925,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||0||4,500||2,500||29,500||12,500||219,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins*||–||3,061,000||240,000||37,701,500|
|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||0||1,500||100||38,100|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–||6,600||800||40,000|
|2016 Fort Moultrie 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||27,800||0||27,800|