Gold and silver futures fell Friday, deepening their losses on the week and month. The pair extended their streak of weekly declines to three, and snapped a string of monthly increases that had reached five for gold and three for silver. They still notched gains for the third quarter.
Gold for December delivery shed $3.90, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,284.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the lowest since Aug. 16 when prices ended at $1,282.90 an ounce.
"A more hawkish shift in Fed policy expectations, good economic data, and optimism about tax reform are supporting the reflation argument, which is bad for gold prices in the months ahead," MarketWatch quoted Tyler Richey, co-editor of the Sevens Report.
"But if any catalyst, be it geopolitical (think North Korea) or otherwise, changes the outlook for any of those three bearish influences, gold could rebound back toward the mid-$1,300s in a hurry," he added.
Gold futures registered weekly and September loss totals of 1% and 2.8%. For some perspective, they rallied for a combined 5.7% increase in the five prior months when closing in August at $1,322.20 an ounce. And as recently as Sept. 8, gold scored a one-year settlement high at $1,351.20 an ounce. Gold prices advanced 3.4% for the quarter and 11.6% on the year to date.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:
"Fifteen market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. Eight participants, or 53%, look for gold to be higher next week. Six, or 40%, called for lower, while one, or 7%, sees sideways prices ahead.
Meanwhile, 787 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll, with 453, or 58%, predicting gold will fall in the week ahead. Another 250, or 32%, were bullish. The neutral votes totaled 84, or 11%."
Silver for December delivery dropped 17.1 cents, or 1%, to finish at $16.676 an ounce. The close is the weakest since Aug. 8 when prices ended at $16.389 an ounce.
Silver futures gave back 1.8% this week, driving down their loss in September to 5.1%. Their strongest settlement for the month happened on the 8th at $18.123 an ounce. The precious metal still edged up 0.3% in the quarter and is 4.3% higher so far this year.
In PGM futures on Friday, for the week, in September, and for the third quarter
January platinum declined $10.20, or 1.1%, to $915.50 an ounce, for losses of 1.8% on the week, 8.3% for the month, and 1.2% for the quarter.
- Palladium for December delivery tacked on $9, or 1%, to $936.85 an ounce, for advances of 1.9% for the week, 0.5% for the month, and 12% for the quarter.
Both metals are higher for the year so far with respective increases of 1.1% and 37.1%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices ended mixed on Friday, on the week, for the month, and the quarter. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold dipped 25 cents, or less than 0.1%, to 1,283.10 an ounce.
- Silver added 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $16.86 an ounce.
- Platinum rose $2, or 0.2%, to $920 an ounce.
- Palladium added $7, or 0.8%, to $935 an ounce.
For the week, palladium advanced 2.1% while the other London prices fell by 0.9% for gold, 0.6% for silver, and 1.6% for platinum.
In September, palladium was unchanged while the other LBMA prices registered losses of 2.2% for gold, 2.8% for silver, and 6.7% for platinum.
As for the third quarter, platinum lost 0.2% while others advanced by 3.3% for gold, 2.4% for silver, and 11.2% for palladium.
They have year-to-date gains of 10.7% for gold, 3.8% for silver, 1.4% for platinum and 38.3% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2017
The United States Mint added some excitement to the marketplace this week with its new American Palladium Eagle. As for the month, the agency sold more American Gold Eagles than in August, but monthly sales of its other bullion products slowed — sharply for American Silver Eagles. In headline comparisons:
American Eagle gold coins advanced by 11,500 ounces in September, rising 21.1% from the 9,500 ounces sold in August but falling 87.8% from the 94,500 ounces delivered in September 2016. Year to date sales at 232,000 ounces are 66.5% lower than the 692,500 ounces delivered during the first nine months of 2016.
American Eagle silver coins reached just 320,000 ounces for the weakest month since December. It marks declines of 68.8% from the 1.025 million ounces moved in August and 80.9% from 1.675 million ounces sold in September of last year. 2017 Silver Eagle sales at 15,898,500 are down by nearly half, 48%, from the 30,575,500 delivered in the January to September period of 2016.
American Buffalo gold coins rose by 1,500 ounces in September, registering declines of 50% from the 3,000 ounces moved in August and 91.4% from the 17,500 ounces sold in September 2016. Year to date sales at 76,500 ounces are 48.7% lower than the 149,000 ounces delivered during the same time last year.
On Monday, Sept. 25, the U.S. Mint introduced its newest annual bullion series, the 1-ounce, .9995 American Eagle palladium coin. (See images of the Palladium Eagle.) U.S. Mint distributors ordered 15,000 of them. More are not expected until next year’s issue.
In August, America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advanced by 200,000 ounces with all sales from the newest piece honoring Ellis Island, which sold out. No gains for the series were registered in September compared to an increase of 11,000 ounces in September of last year. Their sales for the year so far at 575,000 ounces are 53.2% lower than the 1,229,000 ounces sold through the same nine months in 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||Last Week||This Week||August||September||YTD|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1 Oz Palladium Coin*||0||N/A||15,000||N/A||15,000||15,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||2,000||6,500||8,000||170,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||1,000||2,000||1,000||30,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||0||2,000||2,000||56,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||5,000||5,000||15,000||25,000||330,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,500||0||3,000||1,500||76,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||50,000||195,000||1,025,000||320,000||15,898,500|
|2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||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||0||0||20,000|
|2017 Ellis Island 5 Oz Silver Coin*||0||0||0||40,000||0||40,000|