Precious metals futures finished mostly higher Friday. Gold scored its fourth win in five sessions, padding its weekly gain — its first in three weeks.
Gold for April delivery edged up 90 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,356.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures advanced 3.1% this week after falling 1.6% last week and dropping 1.1% in the week before then. On Wednesday, they ended at their highest price ($1,358 an ounce) since Jan. 25 — fueled by a higher-than-expected reading on inflation.
"Rising inflation, coupled with slightly weaker U.S. growth readings and a struggling dollar should continue to provide gold with an element of support," INTL FCStone said in a note, according to Reuters.
The yellow metal is 3.6% 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:
"Twenty market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey, with twelve, or 60%, calling for gold to rise in the next week. Previously, Wall Street had been bearish for two weeks in a row. Another seven voters, or 35%, said lower, while one voter was undecided.
Participation of 450 votes was lighter than usual in the online Main Street poll. A total of 284 voters, or 63%, said bullish. Another 106, or 24%, said lower, while 60, or 13%, were neutral."
Meanwhile, silver for March delivery declined 8.4 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $16.712 an ounce. Silver futures increased 3.6% this week following two weekly declines of 3.4% and 4.2%. They are 2.5% lower on the year to date.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum added $11.20, or 1.1%, to $1,012.30 an ounce, for a 5.3% weekly gain.
- Palladium for March delivery surged $29.10, or 2.9%, to $1,035.75 an ounce, for a 7.5% increase on the week.
The two metals remain divided on the year with platinum 7.9% higher and palladium 2.4% lower.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices ended mixed on Friday and higher than a week ago. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold slipped 35 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,352.10 an ounce.
- Silver added a penny, or less than 0.1%, to $16.835 an ounce.
- Platinum rose $6, or 0.6%, to $1,005 an ounce.
- Palladium added $20, or 2%, to $1,037 an ounce.
As for the week in LBMA metal prices, advances totaled 2.9% for both gold and silver, 3.7% for platinum and 7% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2018
On Monday, the United States Mint released its 1-ounce, .9995 2018-dated American Platinum Eagle. The bullion piece logged first-day sales of 15,000 coins, moved up by another 2,500 coins on Tuesday, and then climbed by another 2,500 coins on Wednesday. It has remained at 20,000 so far, matching the final mintages in years 2016 and 2017.
Elsewhere, U.S. Mint bullion sales ran quicker this week — somewhat for gold coins and more so for silver coins. In week-over-week comparisons:
Gold coins rose by 2,000 ounces after turning up 1,000 ounces last week. Splits included 1,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles against 500 ounces previously, and 500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos like in the previous week.
American Silver Eagles advanced by 410,000 coins after they moved up by 225,000 coins last week.
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|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||N/A||20,000||N/A||N/A||20,000||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||500||1,500||38,000||36,000||3,000||39,000|
|$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||0||0||25,000||80,000||0||80,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||500||500||14,000||24,000||2,000||26,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||225,000||410,000||742,000||3,235,000||635,000||3,870,000|
Note: CoinNews will be taking a one-week break from its daily bullion articles.