Precious metals were mixed on Friday and for the week. Gold futures ended lower for a fourth straight day, marking their first weekly loss in five weeks. Silver, meanwhile, extended its weekly winning streak to four in a row.
On Friday, gold for February delivery dipped $1.40, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,188.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The settlement is the lowest since Jan. 10.
"The dollar is being a big influence on gold right now, so that’s what’s behind the current move," Reuters quoted ING analyst Hamza Khan said. "But overall I think the weeks of gains we’ve had are more indicative than this pull-back, which might just be due to people locking in some profits and waiting for the Fed meetings before they get long again."
Gold futures declined 1.4% following four weeks of increases that had lifted prices by $71.30 or 6.3%. When the yellow metal last settled higher on Monday, it logged its best close since Nov. 17. Prices so far this year are still 3.2% higher.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Twenty-one traders and analysts took part in a weekly Wall Street survey. Seven voters, or 33%, see gold prices rising by next Friday. Eight, or 38%, said lower, while six voters, or 29%, said sideways.
Meanwhile, 934 participants took part in a Main Street online survey. A total of 358 participants, or 38%, called for gold to rise, while 456, or 49%, saw lower prices. The remaining 120 voters, or 13%, were neutral."
Ending higher on Friday for the first time in four sessions, silver for March delivery advanced 28.6 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $17.136 an ounce. Silver futures gained 0.6% this week following three prior weekly gains of 1.6%, 1.5% and 3.3%. The precious metal has rallied 7.2% in January.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum edged up $1.60, or 0.2%, to $983.30 an ounce, for a 0.8% weekly advance.
Palladium for March delivery gained $14.15, or 2%, to $738.60 an ounce, but sank 6.3% from a week ago.
The two metals are higher through the first four weeks of this year with increases of 8.6% for platinum and 8.1% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices also ended mixed on Friday and for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold fell $4.85, or 0.4%, to $1,184.85 an ounce.
- Silver declined 16 cents, or 1%, to $16.70 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $7, or 0.7%, to $965 an ounce.
- Palladium added $5, or 0.7%, to $722 an ounce.
For the week, platinum climbed 0.2% while the other metal prices moved lower by 1.3% for gold, 1.1% for silver and 5.1% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2017
On Monday, the United States Mint started selling its new 2017-dated American Platinum Eagles. The .9995 fine Platinum Eagle advanced by 13,300 on the first day and climbed by another 6,700 on Wednesday. The one-week total of 20,000 coins matches the amount sold in 2016.
Elsewhere, U.S. Mint bullion sales jogged slower this week — somewhat for gold coins and considerably for silver coins. In week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coin sales advanced by 17,500 ounces compared to last week’s 18,500 ounces. Sales splits include 13,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles versus 16,500 ounces previously and 4,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins compared to 2,000 ounces previously.
2017 American Silver Eagles moved up by 325,000 coins versus their week-ago gain of 825,000 coins. The three-week total of 4,897,500 coins is the highest for a month since sales of 5,954,500 ounces in January 2016.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. 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||Dec Sales||Jan Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||–||20,000||–||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||5,000||14,500||10,000||23,000||80,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||1,000||0||1,000||3,000||19,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||4,000||2,000||2,000||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||5,000||10,000||25,000||40,000||120,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||1,500||2,000||4,000||12,500||30,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||825,000||325,000||240,000||4,897,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–|
|2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||100||0|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–||800||–|
|2016 Fort Moultrie 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0|