Gold Prices – Worst Weekly Loss in 3 Months; US Bullion Coins Impress

by Bullion Prices Staff on December 17, 2011

Although rising Friday, gold prices fell during the previous four days which cemented the metal’s worst weekly loss in nearly three months. The huge drop, say analysts, was a contributor to gold’s slight rebound in closing out the week. Free-falling for a weekly loss of $118.90, or 6.9%, gold prices settled Friday at $1,597.90 an ounce. That, at least, was a pick-up of $20.70, or 1.3%, from Thursday.

According to the Kitco News gold survey released Friday, more of its participants expect higher gold prices next week — a reversal from the previous survey.

"Gold prices could rise next week if futures prices can hold support at important technical levels and if the U.S. dollar’s recent rally slows or falters.

In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 31 participants, 22 responded this week. Of those 22 participants, 14 see prices up, while eight see prices down, and zero see prices sideways or unchanged. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders and technical chart analysts," wrote Debbie Carlson of Kitco.

Several market watchers said the $1,560 area, followed by the $1,530 area, are two very important technical chart points for gold to hold above next week if it is to consolidate this week’s break."

Last week’s survey had just 8 participants expecting higher gold prices this week, with 9 seeing them lower (as it turned out to be) and 2 expecting prices sideways or unchanged.

Other precious metals futures tracked gold, even palladium which had been an outlier last week when it rallied over supply concerns. On Friday, March palladium prices added $4.85, or 0.8%, to $625.50. But its weekly loss measured $61, or 8.9% — the worst percentage decline in the group of precious metals. Palladium last week rose 6.3% while other major metals declined.

As for the other PGM metal, January platinum prices added $10.30, or 0.7%, to $1,417.30 an ounce, cutting the weekly loss down to $98.50 or 6.5%

Finally, March silver prices added 39.7 cents, or 1.4%, to $29.67 an ounce. The white metal plunged $2.58, or 8% on the week.

United States Mint Bullion Coins

It has been a bullish week for United States Mint bullion coins. Gains were made across each U.S. Mint 1 oz. issue, and — by mid-week — total monthly December sales for each surpassed total monthly November sales.

1 oz. silver bullion coins put up the highest number. The Silver Eagles gained 653,000 this week after rising 906,000 previously. Silver Eagle December sales are 41,000 short of 1.6 million. The coins had a total of 1.384 million through all of November.

1 oz. gold bullion coins are maintaining a strong streak of daily increases as they have posted gains in nine of the last ten days. The Gold Buffalo added 2,000 Friday, came to 5,500 for the week and is at 13,500 for December. The monthly total is already better than each of the previous three months. The Gold Eagle jumped 18,000 on Friday, came to 49,500 for the week and is at 65,500 for December. The monthly total, and weekly amount for that matter, is already higher than each of the previous two months.

Rounding out United States Mint bullion coins is the five ounce issues. Normally the Mint only adjusts sales on these once a week, if that. Not this week as they gained 400 on Monday and 2,400 on Friday.

The latest United States bullion figures are provided below in the daily, weekly, December 2011 and YTD 2011 columns.

United States Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
  Friday Gain Prior Weekly Weekly Gain December 2011 2011 Totals
1 oz American Gold Eagles 18,000 16,000 49,500 65,500 910,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 65,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 82,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 370,000
1 oz American Gold Buffalo 2,000 8,000 5,500 13,500 167,000
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver 2,400 600 2,800 2,900 396,700
1 oz American Silver Eagle 103,000 906,000 653,000 1,559,000 39,418,500


In major United States Mint news this week, not necessary related to bullion, the following articles are of note:

London Bullion Prices — Friday and Weekly

London bullion prices rose Friday. From the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fixings:

  • Gold prices added $20, or 1.3%, to $1,594 an ounce,
  • Silver added 98 cents, or 3.4%, to $29.78 an ounce,
  • Palladium added 50 cents, or 0.1%, to $624 an ounce, and
  • Platinum added $9, or 0.6%, to $1,424 an ounce

As in New York futures, London bullion prices declined on the week. Each of the precious metals registered weekly losses of:

  • $115, or 6.7%, for gold,
  • $2.22, or 6.9%, for silver,
  • $46, or 6.9%, for palladium, and
  • $72, or 4.8%, for platinum

Refer to this site’s home page for the latest in bullion prices and news.

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