Gold futures logged their third straight session gain, registered their fifth consecutive weekly increase, and scored a four-month high settlement.
Gold for February delivery on Friday rose $12.40, or 0.9%, to end at $1,334.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close was the highest since Sept. 11 when prices settled at $1,335.70 an ounce.
"Persistent U.S. dollar weakness is keeping the extended bull run in gold alive and well," MarketWatch quoted Michael Armbruster, managing partner at brokerage firm Altavest. "Most traders are at a loss to explain the dollar’s weakness given that the Federal Reserve is leading the way among central banks in raising interest rates."
Gold futures traded 1% higher this week, and have advanced a combined $86.50, or 6.9%, through their five straight weekly gains. Prices are 2% 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:
"Seventeen market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. Twelve, or 71%, called for gold to rise. There were four votes, or 24%, saying gold would fall, while one participant, or 6%, called for a sideways market.
Meanwhile, 663 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll. A total of 404 voters, or 61%, looked for gold to climb in the next week. Another 182, or 27%, said lower, while 77, or 12%, were neutral."
Silver for March delivery settled up 17.5 cents, or 1%, to $17.141 an ounce. Silver futures shed 0.8% this week following four straight weekly advances that had lifted prices by a combined 9.2%. The precious metal is now down 4 cents, or about 0.02%, through the first two weeks of the year.
In PGM futures on Friday:
April platinum added $5.40, or 0.6%, to $996.20 an ounce.
- Palladium for March delivery surged $29.10, or 2.7%, to $1,105.35 an ounce. The close was a new all-time high.
Both metals logged 2.2% weekly increases. The pair has respective year-to-date gains of 6.2% and 4.2%.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices gained on Friday and mostly for the week. In comparing final prices from Thursday to Friday:
- Gold added $3.75, or 0.3%, to $1,326.80 an ounce.
- Silver rose 11 cents, or 0.7%, to $17.12 an ounce.
- Platinum moved up $10, or 1%, to $991 an ounce.
- Palladium added $20, or 1.9%, to $1,098 an ounce.
As for the week in LBMA precious metals prices, silver eased 0.2% while the other metals made gains reaching 0.7% for gold, 2.6% for platinum and 0.3% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2018
On Monday, Jan. 8, the United States Mint released its 2018-dated American Eagle gold and silver and American Buffalo gold bullion coins. Each of the three series posted sales this week that are already higher than every monthly total in 2017 but January. Their performances were down, however, from last year’s first weekly sales. Here is a summary:
Gold coins advanced by 63,500 ounces this week with splits of 45,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles and 18,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins. The first week of sales for last year’s new 2017-dated gold coins totaled 105,500 ounces with splits of 80,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles and 24,500 in American Gold Buffalo coins.
American Silver Eagle sales climbed by 2,520,000 coins this week, down from last year’s first-week sales of 3,747,500 coins.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday Sales||Last Week||This Week||December||2017 Sales||2018 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||27,000||38,000||228,500||27,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||12,000||3,000||37,000||12,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||24,000||4,000||64,000||24,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||60,000||25,000||395,000||60,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||18,500||14,000||99,500||18,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||2,520,000||742,000||18,065,500||2,520,000|