Precious metals futures ended mixed on Friday. Gold logged a second straight day of declines and settled at a 20-week low. Silver — while snapping a string of losses that stretched to seven sessions — not only ended lower on the week but also moved into the red for the year.
Gold for February delivery on Friday fell $4.70, or 0.4%, to close at $1,248.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the lowest since July 20 when the metal ended at $1,245.50 an ounce.
"Gold’s role as a safe haven and a store of value is greatly diminished at this point," Bloomberg News quoted Barnabas Gan, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore. "Market-watchers are likely positioning for an FOMC rate hike next week."
Gold futures traded 2.6% lower this week, adding to their prior two weekly losses of 0.4% and 0.7%. Prices are 8.4% 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:
"Nineteen market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. Ten, or 53%, called for gold to decline. There were seven votes or 37%, saying gold would rise, with the remaining two votes, or 11%, for a sideways market.
Meanwhile, 847 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll. A total of 400 voters, or 47%, looked for gold to rise in the next week. Another 393, or 46%, said lower, while 54, or 6%, were neutral."
Silver for March delivery gained 2.1 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $15.823 an ounce. Silver futures dropped 3.5% this week after sinking 3.6% last week and falling 2.2% the week before then. On Thursday, the precious metal finished at its lowest level since July 13. Silver prices are down 1% on the year to date.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week
January platinum lost $10.80, or 1.2%, to $883.70 an ounce, for a 6.1% weekly decline.
- Palladium for March delivery slipped $6.55, or 0.7%, to $996.40 an ounce, for a drop of 2% on the week.
The pair are mixed for the year so far with platinum off 2.4% and palladium up 45.8%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices ended lower Friday and on the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold fell $4.35, or 0.4%, to 1,250.65 an ounce.
- Silver declined 8.5 cents, or 0.5%, to $15.825 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $8, or 0.9%, to $892 an ounce.
- Palladium rose $4, or 0.4%, to $1,009 an ounce.
For the week in London bullion prices, losses totaled 2% for gold, 3.6% for silver, 4.5% for platinum and 0.7% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2017
United States Mint bullion sales were mixed this week compared to last, with silver sales higher and gold sales lower. In headline comparisons:
Gold coins climbed by 2,000 ounces this week after rising by 5,000 ounces last week. Splits included 1,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 4,000 ounces previously, and 1,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalos to match last week.
- Silver coins advanced by 120,000 ounces this week after rising by 90,000 ounces last week. For a second week in a row, all sales came from American Silver Eagles.
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||November||December||YTD|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1 Oz Palladium Coin*||0||0||0||0||0||15,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,500||0||9,500||0||190,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||0||2,000||0||34,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||0||2,000||0||60,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||10,000||10,000||10,000||380,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,000||1,000||2,000||1,000||86,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||90,000||120,000||385,000||120,000||17,443,500|
|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||0||0||40,000|
|2017 George Rogers Clark 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||32,400||0||32,400|