Precious metals tumbled on Friday, driving gold, silver and platinum to weekly losses. Gold’s weekly decline was its first in seven weeks.
Gold for April delivery dropped $54.20, or 2.8%, to settle at $1,876.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the lowest since gold closed a dime lower on Jan. 10.
Gold took a hit Friday because "the positive surprise on the jobs number is a strong indication that the [Federal Reserve] has more than a single rate hike left in it," MarketWatch quoted Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls jumped by 517,000 jobs in January, with the unemployment rating falling to 3.4% — the lowest level since May 1969, Labor Department data released Friday shows.
Gold prices finished 2.7% lower on the week, trimming their year-to-date gain to 2.8%. As recently as Tuesday, gold at $1,945.30 an ounce scored its best finish since April 21.
In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street & Main Street surveys:
"This week, 18 Wall Street analysts participated in the Kitco News Gold Survey. Among the participants, eight analysts, or 44%, were bearish on gold in the near term. At the same time, three analysts, or 17%, were bullish for next week and seven analysts, or 39%, saw prices trading sideways.
Meanwhile, 740 votes were cast in online polls. Of these, 461 respondents, or 61%, looked for gold to rise next week. Another 183, or 25%, said it would be lower, while 106 voters, or 14%, were neutral in the near term."
Elsewhere, silver for March delivery plunged $1.21, or 5.1%, to close $22.405 an ounce. The settlement was the lowest since silver finished at $22.335 an ounce on Dec. 6. Silver prices lost 5.2% on the week, and they are 6.8% lower on the year.
In PGM prices on Friday and for the week:
April platinum fell $52.30, or 5.1%, to end at $980.30 an ounce, for a 3.6% weekly loss.
- Palladium for March delivery fell $24.20, or 1.5%, to end at $1,618.40 an ounce, but gained 1.2% on the week.
The two are lower on the year so far with declines of 9.5% for platinum and 10% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2023
Published United States Mint bullion sales showed mixed results this week compared to last week. In week-over-week comparisons:
- American Gold Eagles: 17,000 ounces against 3,500 ounces
- American Gold Buffalos: 5,500 ounces compared to 9,000 ounces
- American Silver Eagles: Zero for a second week in a row
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)|
|Last Week||This Week||January Sales||February|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||3,500||13,500||118,000||0|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||37,000||0|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||10,000||62,000||0|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||115,000||0|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||9,000||5,500||59,000||0|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||3,949,000||0|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||0|
In yet another stark illustration of the “two sides of the coin” principle, as the stock market rose in response to positive economic news the precious metals took a nose dive.
The U.S. unemployment rate is down to 3.4% – the lowest rate since 1969.
It appears we can either have a successful, growing economy or high precious metal values but we can’t simultaneously have both.
An ugly day.
But not such a bad day for the stock market, so how will we ever make everyone happy?