Gold futures dropped for a fourth straight session Friday, ending at a more than two-week low and logging their first weekly loss since late January. Silver, meanwhile, slipped further from a recent 16-week high and posted its first weekly decline of the year.
Gold for April delivery fell $6.40, or 0.5%, to end at $1,226.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the weakest since Feb. 14.
Gold saw pressure this week from profit taking, increased risk appetite, raised expectations for a U.S. rate hike this month, and a strengthened U.S. dollar.
"The market has responded very clearly to the more aggressive stance by FOMC members regarding rate hikes in March," Reuters quoted Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler. "It’s fair to say that a rate hike in March is pretty much priced into gold."
Gold futures traded 2.5% lower this week following four previous weekly advances of 1.6%, 0.3%, 1.2% and 2.7%. The yellow metal has shed $32.30, or 2.6%, since scoring a 3-1/2-month high when it last ended up on Monday. Still, it is 6.5% higher through the first nine weeks of this year.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Twenty-one market professionals took part in a weekly Wall Street survey. Twelve voters, or 57%, see gold prices falling by next Friday. Seven, or 33%, said higher, while two voters, or 10%, are neutral.
Meanwhile, Main Street remained bullish. A total of 984 Kitco readers submitted votes, and 566, or 58%, said gold will rise. A total of 264 voters, or 27%, were bearish, while another 154, or 16%, were neutral."
Lower for a second session in a row after having climbed for five straight, silver for May delivery dipped less than a penny to settle at $17.74 an ounce.
Silver futures dropped 3.3% this week after having leapt by a combined 16.4% in their nine prior weeks of gains. As recently as Wednesday, prices closed at their highest point since Nov. 10. Then, they sank 4% on Thursday. The precious metal is 11% higher so far this year.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum added $4.20, or 0.4%, to $994.10 an ounce, but logged a 3.4% weekly loss.
- Palladium for June delivery fell $2.05, or 0.3%, to $767.70 an ounce, for a weekly decline of 0.7%.
Both metals remain sharply higher on the year to date with advances of 9.8% for platinum and 12.4% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices declined on Friday and for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold fell $11.60, or 0.9%, to $1,226.50 an ounce.
- Silver declined 67 cents, or 3.7%, to $17.66 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $14, or 1.4%, to $987 an ounce.
- Palladium declined $18, or 2.3%, to $756 an ounce.
Their losses for the week totaled 2.2% for gold, 3.3% for silver, 3.9% for platinum and 3.8% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2017
U.S. bullion coins are yet to enter the sales boards for March, according to U.S. Mint published data. As for the week, sales retreated for gold coins and improved for silver coins. In the latest week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coins added 4,000 ounces after rising by 5,500 ounces last week. Sales splits include 3,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles versus 3,000 ounces previously and 500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins compared to 2,500 ounces previously.
Silver coins added 451,000 ounces after rising by 158,000 ounces last week. This week’s splits include 450,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles compared to 155,000 ounces previously and 1,000 ounces in Effigy Mounds America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins versus 3,000 ounces previously.
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 / Mar Sales||Last Week||This Week||Feb Sales||2017 Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||3,000||1,500||21,000||107,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||5,000||24,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||2,000||4,000||40,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||15,000||30,000||155,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,500||500||15,000||47,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||155,000||450,000||1,215,000||6,342,500|
|2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||600||200||19,500||19,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–|
|2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–||–|
|2016 Fort Moultrie 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0|