Precious metals futures finished mostly higher Friday in subdued trading ahead of next week’s holiday-shortened schedule with markets closed Monday for Christmas. They all scored weekly gains. Gold and silver ended at three-week highs.
Gold for February delivery tacked on $8.20, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,278.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the highest since Dec. 1 when the yellow metal ended at $1,282.30 an ounce.
Gold futures advanced 1.7% this week after trading 0.7% higher last week. In the three weeks before then, prices declined by a combined 3.7%. Gold is 11% stronger 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:
"Nineteen market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. Eleven, or 58%, called for gold to rise. There were two votes, or 11%, saying gold would fall, with the remaining four votes, or 21%, neutral or calling for a sideways market.
Meanwhile, 513 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll. A total of 306 voters, or 60%, looked for gold to rise in the next week. Another 142, or 28%, said lower, while 65, or 13%, were neutral."
Elsewhere, silver for March delivery gained 20.5 cents, or 1.3%, to finish at $16.444 an ounce. The close is the strongest since Nov. 30 when prices ended at $16.474 an ounce.
Silver futures rose 2.4% this week after rising 1.5% last week. Prices slumped by a combined 9% in the three straight weeks of declines before then. The precious metal is 2.9% higher on the year so far.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
January platinum added $3.30, or 0.4%, to $923 an ounce, for a 3.8% weekly increase.
- Palladium for March delivery dipped 10 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,029.55 an ounce, but logged a 1.4% weekly increase. On Thursday, the metal finished at its best price since February 2001.
The two are higher on the year so far with gains of 1.9% for platinum and 50.7% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices were mixed on Friday and, for the most part, higher on the week. In comparing final prices from Thursday to Friday:
- Gold added $3.50, or 0.3%, to $ 1,268.05 an ounce.
- Silver rose 3 cents, or 0.2%, to $16.175 an ounce.
- Platinum lost $5, or 0.5%, to $912 an ounce.
- Palladium fell $5, or 0.5%, to $1,028 an ounce.
For the week, palladium was unchanged while the other metal prices climbed by 1.1% for gold, 1.2% for silver, and 3.4% for platinum.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2017
The latest weekly United States Mint bullion sales ranged from muted for American Silver Eagles to slower for both American Eagle and Buffalo gold coins. In headline weekly comparisons:
Gold coins advanced by 10,500 ounces after soaring by 42,500 ounces last week — the most since the week of Jan. 9 when the new 2017-dated editions launched. Splits included 8,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 32,000 ounces previously, and 2,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos compared to 10,500 ounces previously.
- Silver coins were flat this week after rising last week by 622,000 ounces. Those gains were all in 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||28,000||8,000||9,500||36,000||226,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||3,000||0||2,000||3,000||37,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||4,000||0||2,000||4,000||64,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||15,000||0||10,000||25,000||395,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||10,500||2,500||2,000||14,000||99,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||622,000||0||385,000||742,000||18,065,500|
|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|