Gold and silver futures ended higher Friday, marking their fourth set of gains in five sessions and scoring their first weekly increases in six weeks.
Gold for August delivery settled up $10.20, or 0.8%, to $1,227.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the highest since June 30.
"The disappointing U.S. retail sales and inflation data has seen the odds of another rate hike fall below 50% this year," MarketWatch quoted Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com. "This has boosted the appeal of low- and noninterest-bearing assets on a relative basis, hence the breakdown in [the U.S. dollar/Japanese yen] and breakout in gold."
Early Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said consumer prices ended flat in June with the annual inflation rate slowing to a 1.6% increase. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales fell 0.2% last month.
Gold futures increased 1.5% this week, lifting their gains on the year so far to 6.6%. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Nineteen traders and analysts took part in a Kitco News Wall Street survey. Thirteen voters, or 68%, see gold prices rising by the end of next week… Meanwhile, there were three Wall Street votes for both lower and sideways, or 16% each.
The Kitco online Main Street poll resulted in 808 votes, with 394 participants, or 49%, calling for gold to climb over the next week. Another 296 voters, or 37%, said that gold will fall, while 118, or 15%, were neutral."
Elsewhere, silver for September delivery tacked on 24.2 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $15.933 an ounce. The close is the strongest since July 3. Silver futures jumped 3.3% this week, trimming their year-to-date loss to 0.4%.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
October platinum added $16.40, or 1.8%, to $923.50 an ounce, for a 2.2% weekly advance.
- Palladium for September added $2, or 0.2%, to $856.75 an ounce, for a 3.1% weekly gain.
Both metals are higher on the year with increases of 2% for platinum and 25.4% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices ended mixed on Friday and for the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold added $11.40, or 0.9%, to 1,230.30 an ounce.
- Silver declined 2.4 cents, or 1.5%, to $15.71 an ounce.
- Platinum added $4, or 0.4%, to $918 an ounce.
- Palladium declined $9, or 1%, to $860 an ounce.
For the week, silver slipped 0.8% while the other London bullion prices registered gains of 1.2% for gold, 0.8% for platinum and 3.1% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2017
U.S. Mint bullion sales picked up from last week, and notably for bullion American Silver Eagles with their total the highest since the week of Jan. 9 when the newly 2017-dated edition launched. In headline week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coins moved up by 8,000 ounces after rising by 5,000 ounces previously. Splits include 6,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 4,000 ounces previously and 1,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos compared to 1,000 ounces previously.
Silver coins advanced by 970,000 ounces compared to 320,000 ounces previously. American Silver Eagles accounted for all silver sales for a third week in a row. This week’s haul in Silver Eagles is nearly as high as all of those sold last month.
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||Last Week||This Week||June||July||YTD|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,500||5,500||4,000||7,000||148,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||0||0||27,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||4,000||0||0||4,000||52,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||15,000||10,000||20,000||25,000||285,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,000||1,500||2,000||2,500||68,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||320,000||970,000||986,000||1,290,000||13,523,500|
|2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||8,800||0||35,000|
|2017 Frederick Douglass 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2017 Ozark Riverways 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||20,000||0||20,000|