Precious metals futures ended mostly lower Friday and they all dived on the week. Gold and silver posted their second straight weekly declines, with the latter ending at an eight-week low.
Gold for April delivery lost $3.30, or nearly 0.3%, to settle at $1,315.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that the yellow metal remains pressured by a stabilizing dollar and rising expectations of higher U.S. interest rates," MarketWatch quoted Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, in a note. "Investors would usually expect gold to benefit from increased stock market volatility, but this has so far not been the case."
"If speculation continues to increase over developed central banks increasing respective interest rates, gold is at risk to further selling pressure," Otunuga added.
Gold futures traded 1.6% lower this week after sliding 1.1% last week. On Wednesday, they ended at $1,314.60 an ounce for their weakest settlement since Jan. 9. The yellow metal is now only 0.5% higher 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:
"Twenty market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey, with ten (50%) calling for gold to fall. Six voters, or 30%, said higher, while four, or 20%, called for the market to be sideways.
Meanwhile, 731 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll, with 408 voters bullish (56%). Another 219, or 30%, said lower, while 104, or 14%, were neutral."
Elsewhere, silver for March delivery dropped 20.2 cents, or 1.2%, to finish at $16.139 an ounce. The close was the lowest since Dec. 15 when prices settled at $16.063 an ounce. Silver futures plunged 3.4% this week after tumbling 4.2% last week. They are 5.9% lower on the year so far.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum declined $16.90, or 1.7%, to $961.50 an ounce, for a 3.8% weekly loss.
- Palladium for March delivery edged up $1.15, or 0.1%, to $963.35 an ounce, but sank 7.8% on the week.
The two metals are divided on the year to date with platinum 2.5% higher and palladium 9.2% lower.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices ended mostly lower on Friday and finished lower from a week ago. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold declined $1.35, or 0.1%, to $1,314.10 an ounce.
- Silver added a penny, or less than 0.1%, to $16.355 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $6, or 0.6%, to $969 an ounce.
- Palladium declined $16, or 1.6%, to $969 an ounce.
As for the week in LBMA metal prices, losses totaled 1.3% for gold, 4.6% for silver, 2.8% for platinum and 7.4% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2018
United States Mint bullion products showed mixed performances with gold coins moving slower for a second week in a row and silver coins walking a bit quicker. In week-over-week sales comparisons:
Gold coins climbed by just 1,000 ounces this week after rising by 4,000 ounces last week. Splits included 500 ounces in American Gold Eagles against 2,500 ounces previously, and 500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos compared to 1,500 ounces previously.
American Silver Eagles advanced by 225,000 coins after they moved up by 140,000 coins last week.
On Monday, the U.S. Mint will begin selling its 2018-dated American Platinum Eagle bullion coin.
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||Last Week||This Week||December||January||February||2018 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||500||38,000||36,000||1,500||37,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||3,000||16,000||0||16,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||4,000||26,000||0||26,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||5,000||0||25,000||80,000||0||80,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,500||500||14,000||24,000||1,500||25,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||140,000||225,000||742,000||3,235,000||225,000||3,460,000|