Gold and Silver Score Third Straight Weekly Gains

Silver bullion bars, gold bullion bars, scales
Precious metals were mixed this week with gold, silver and palladium rising and platinum falling

Gold and silver futures moved higher Friday, scoring their third set of weekly gains and closing at fresh milestone highs of six weeks for gold and just over four weeks for silver.

Gold for August delivery advanced $8.40, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,268.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the highest since June 14.

"There has to be at least a modest factor here that risk is rising in North Korea. We’re not off to the races, we’re not above $1,300 yet, but certainly there is room for speculators to increase their position," Reuters quoted Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "It doesn’t hurt that you’ve got a weak U.S. dollar, and real rates have fallen off a little bit. Interest rates are under pressure, inflation’s in question."

Gold futures advanced 1.1% this week after gains of 2.2% last week and 1.5% in the week before then. The yellow metal is 10.1% higher so far this year. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"Fourteen professionals took part in a Kitco News Wall Street survey. Ten voters, or 71%, see gold prices rising by the end of next week. There were two votes each, or 14%, for both lower and sideways.

The Kitco online Main Street poll resulted in 687 votes, with 444 participants, or 65%, calling for gold to climb over the next week. Another 183 voters, or 27%, said that gold will fall, while 60, or 9%, were neutral."

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery settled up 12.2 cents, or 0.7%, to $16.695 an ounce. The close is the highest since June 28. Silver futures traded 1.5% higher this week following two prior and matching weekly increases of 3.3%. The precious metal is 4.4% higher on the year to date.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • October platinum tacked on $10.20, or 1.1%, to $936.60 an ounce, but slipped 0.09% on the week.

  • Closing higher for a fifth day in a row, palladium for September delivery added $3.25, or 0.4%, to $880.15 an ounce. The precious metal rallied for a 4.2% weekly increase.

Both metals are higher on the year so far with gains of 3.4% for platinum and 28.8% 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 rose $3.80, or 0.3%, to 1,264.90 an ounce.
  • Silver declined 23 cents, or 1.4%, to $16.56 an ounce.
  • Platinum fell $4, or 0.4%, to $927 an ounce.
  • Palladium declined $4, or 0.5%, to $875 an ounce.

For the week, platinum lost 1.1% while the other London bullion prices registered gains of 1.3% for gold, 0.8% for silver and 2.71% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2017

United States Mint bullion sales slowed for second week in a row, this time sharply. In week-over-week comparisons:

  • Gold coins moved up by only 1,000 ounces after rising by 6,000 ounces last week. Splits include 500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 5,500 ounces previously and 500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos, the same as a week earlier.

  • Silver coins advanced by 205,000 ounces compared to 725,000 ounces previously. American Silver Eagles accounted for all silver sales for a fifth straight week.

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 5,000 500 4,000 12,500 153,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 0 27,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 4,000 52,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 5,000 0 20,000 30,000 290,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 500 500 2,000 3,500 69,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 725,000 205,000 986,000 2,220,000 14,453,500
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


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Joe Brown