Gold Prices Advance on Week, Bullion Silver Coins Outperform

by Bullion Prices Staff on February 25, 2011

Bullion prices were mixed on Friday as they were all week. Although gold and silver retreated on the day, each rose this week. Palladium and platinum were opposite, rising Friday but closing lower for the week.

Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa were the most cited factors in gains for gold and silver this week, and signals for the direction of metals next week.

"If the situation in Libya can be resolved next week and unrest does not spread, gold and silver prices will likely fall after rising recently on Middle East uncertainty," noted Debbie Carlson of Kitco News.
"However, if a peaceful end is not reached or if other countries see rioting, then precious metals prices will rise once more."

April gold futures prices settled at $1,409.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The was down $6.50, or 0.5%, from Thursday when the yellow metal reached a seven-week high. It also marked the first time gold had declined since Feb. 11. For the week, gold traded 1.5% higher.

Silver prices declined on Friday for a second session after several days of soaring advances. March silver fell 26.8 cents, or 0.8%, to $32.90 an ounce. Prices advanced 1.9% on the week.

In PGM futures prices, March palladium rose $7.70, or 1%, to end at $785.45 an ounce while April platinum picked up $16.60, or 0.9%, to $1,803.40 an ounce. For the week, the metals declined 8.4% and 2.2%, respectively.

U.S. Mint bullion silver coins outperformed their prior weekly gain, rising 842,500 versus 836,000. The daily advance of the Silver Eagles was a modest 1,500.

U.S. Mint bullion gold coins unperformed, with the 1-ounce Gold Eagles increasing 9,000 for the week versus 67,500. The rose 4,000 on Friday.

In a quick recap of major numismatic coin news, the U.S. Mint on Friday made available the latest series of gold and silver commemorative coins. The coins celebrate the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861 and are available in not only gold and silver but in proof or uncirculated qualities. Articles on sister sites about the new coins include:

The gold coins are struck from 90% gold and 10% alloy. They weigh 8.359 grams and have a diameter of 0.85 inches.. The silver coins contain 90% silver and 10% copper. They weigh 26.73 grams and have a diameter of 1.5 inches. Prices for the coins range from a low of $49.95 to a high of $449.95. They may be purchased directly from the U.S. Mint website (http://www.usmint.gov/).

Daily, February and 2011 bullion coin sales figures follow:

2011 U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
  February
2011
Weekly
Gain
2011
Totals
1 oz American Gold Eagle 67,500 9,000 198,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 12,000 7,000 13,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 16,000 0 18,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 100,000 0 120,000
American Silver Eagle 2,665,500 842,500 9,087,000

Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold.

In London bullion prices, the PM gold fix was $1,402.50 an ounce, representing a decline of $9, or 0.6%, from the previous PM fixing. The silver fix fell 74 cents, or 2.2%, at $32.54 an ounce. London gold and silver did rise on the week, however, with respective gains of 1.4% and 1.9%.

The palladium fix was $785 for a gain of $15, or 1.9%, from the previous fix. Platinum rose $19, or 1.1%, at $1,791 an ounce. Although the palladium and platinum fixings were higher Friday, they were lower on the week with losses of 7.3% and 2.5%, respectively.

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