Gold futures ended below $1,300 an ounce Friday, extending their string of losses to five straight sessions and logging their first weekly decline in three weeks.
Gold for April delivery declined $16.90, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,299.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the lowest since Jan. 25.
"The U.S. dollar index and two-year Treasury yields have moved up over the last couple of days and these factors have prompted people to take some profits (in gold)," Reuters quoted Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.
"We are also seeing a continued reaction to Federal Reserve statements where hikes are still on the menu, given that data seems to be fairly strong in the United States."
Gold futures dropped 2.5% this week after gains of 0.8% last week and 0.3% in the week before then. They are 1.4% higher on the year to date. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street & Main Street surveys:
"Sixteen market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. Seven participants, or 44%, described themselves as bearish for the week ahead. There were five votes, or 31%, for higher prices. Another four participants, or 25%, were neutral on the yellow metal.
Meanwhile, 556 respondents took part in an online Main Street poll. A total of 286 voters, or 51%, called for gold to rise. Another 192, or 35%, predicted gold would fall. The remaining 78 voters, or 14%, saw a sideways market."
Elsewhere, silver for May delivery tumbled 37.8 cents, or 2.4%, to close at $15.256 an ounce. The settlement was the lowest since Dec. 26. Silver futures sank 4.1% this week after gaining 1.1% last week. The precious metal is 1.8% lower so far on the year.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
April platinum fell $11.50, or 1.3%, to settle at $863.70 an ounce but gained 2.1% on the week.
- Palladium for June delivery rose $4.60, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,506.10 an ounce, for a 3% weekly increase. On Tuesday, the precious metal scored a record settlement of $1,519.70 an ounce.
Both are higher on the year with gains of 7.9% for platinum and 25.8% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices finished mostly lower Thursday and divided on the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:
- Gold declined $7.20, or 0.6%, to $1,311.95 an ounce.
- Silver fell 2.55 cents, or 1.6%, to $15.56 an ounce.
- Platinum declined $8, or 0.9%, to $863 an ounce.
- Palladium rose $9, or 0.6%, to $1,553 an ounce.
In LBMA results for the week, gold and silver marked losses of 1.3% and 2% while platinum and palladium logged gains of 4% and 4.8%.
US Mint 2019 Bullion Sales
United States Mint bullion sales registered lower this week from last. In headline week-over-week comparisons:
Gold bullion coins moved up by 2,600 ounces after rising by 3,500 ounces last week. Sales last week came entirely from American Gold Eagles. Splits this week included 2,100 ounces in American Gold Eagles and 500 ounces in American Gold Buffalos.
American Silver Eagles climbed by 100,000 ounces after advancing by 997,500 ounces last week. At least part of this week’s slowdown is due to the U.S. Mint temporarily selling out of Silver Eagles. Their sales are now being rationed.
American Platinum Eagle sales rose by 600 ounces after registering flat last week.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Friday / March||Last Week||This Week||January||February||2019 Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||600||27,100||2,400||29,500|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||3,000||1,500||44,500||11,000||55,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||15,000||1,000||16,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||20,000||0||20,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||5,000||0||85,000||10,000||100,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||500||23,500||6,000||29,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||997,500||100,000||4,017,500||2,157,500||6,175,000|