Despite falling Friday after having climbed previously for four straight days, gold put forth a weekly increase of 3.2% to kick-off 2012. On Friday, February gold prices lost $3.30, or 0.2%, to $1,616.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold traded from a low of $1,609 an ounce to a high of $1,632.30 an ounce.
Gold could be challenged next week, according to some analysts. Debbie Carlson of Kitco News writes:
"Gold prices may come under pressure next week as the first full week of 2012 gets under way, with investors’ attention likely returning to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.
Also, the various commodity indexes will be rebalancing next week and gold prices could come under some pressure from index-followers selling holding to align with the new weightings in the indexes…
In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 32 participants, 24 responded this week. Of those 24 participants, eight see prices up, while nine see prices down, and seven are neutral on prices. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders, money managers and technical chart analysts."
In other New York futures closings Friday, March silver prices declined 61.3 cents, or 2.1%, to $28.68 an ounce, March palladium prices declined $30.40, or 4.7%, to $614 an ounce and April platinum prices declined $9.80, or 0.7%, to $1,408.20 an ounce.
In addition to gold, a few of the other precious metals still advanced for the week. Weekly increases for silver and platinum were 2.8% and 0.2%, respectively. Palladium prices declined 2% during the same time.
United States Mint Bullion Coins
American Eagle bullion coins exploded during the first week of 2012, boosted by the January 3 release of the 2012-dated coins.
Silver Eagle bullion coins surged by over 3.5 million which, in one week, exceeded each of the three previous monthly sales.
Each of the Gold Eagle bullion coins — the 1 oz. through 1/10 oz. sizes — rallied as well. In number of coins, 171,000 were sold in total. In ounces, sales reached 74,500 ounces. The amount of coins is already the best in a month since February 2010. The ounces sold are the highest in a month since September.
In other bullion coins, the Gold Buffalo started 2012 with sales of 3,500 and the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins advanced 1,000. None of these coins are 2012-dated, as the newest issues are yet to be released.
The latest United States bullion figures are provided below in the daily, weekly, and January 2012 columns.
|United States Mint 2012 Bullion Coin Sales|
|Friday Gain||Prior Weekly||January 2012|
|1 oz American Gold Eagles||27,000||0||53,000|
|1/2 oz American Gold Eagles||4,000||0||13,000|
|1/4 oz American Gold Eagles||0||0||30,000|
|1/10 oz American Gold Eagles||0||0||75,000|
|1 oz American Gold Buffalo||1,000||1,000||3,500|
|5 oz America the Beautiful Silver||n/a||1,000||1,000|
|1 oz American Silver Eagle||175,000||0||3,547,000|
Notes: Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold. The United States Mint last updated sales of its 5 oz. America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. All other figures have an “as of date” of Friday, January 6, 2012, as published on the Mint website.
In major United States Mint news this week, not necessarily related to bullion, the following articles are of note:
The first article summarizes the performances of the four American Gold Eagle bullion coins throughout 2011, and their finalized 2011 totals. The second article discusses the impressive start in sales of the 2012 American Silver Eagle bullion coins.
London Bullion Prices — Friday and Weekly
Losses were not across the board Friday for London bullion prices like they were for precious metals futures in New York. From the Thursday PM to Friday PM London fixings:
- Gold added $17.50, or 1.1%, to $1,616.50 an ounce,
- Silver added 48 cents, or 1.7%, to $29.40 an ounce,
- Palladium declined $13, or 2%, to $632 an ounce, and
- Platinum declined $5, or 0.4%, to $1,410 an ounce
For the week, London bullion prices were higher with the exception of palladium which lost $4 or 0.6%. Metal advances included:
- $42, or 2.7%, for gold,
- $1.22, or 4.3%, for silver, and
- $29, or 2.1%, for platinum
Refer to this site’s home page for always updated bullion prices and news.