Weekly Gold Prices Retreat, Silver Gains, All Bullion Coins Rise

by Bullion Prices Staff on March 12, 2011

U.S. bullion prices were mixed on Friday and for the week. Gold, silver and platinum rose on the final day of the week, but only silver registered a weekly gain. Palladium was the single precious metal to decline Friday, and it fell the hardest on the week.

April gold futures prices advanced $9.30, or 0.7%, to $1,421.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its daily gain was the biggest of the week.

"Gold’s performance next week will hinge in large part on how political unrest in the Middle East plays out and whether any events trigger a worsening of the European debt crisis," noted Allen Sykora from Kitco News. "Nevertheless, as Friday’s activity wound down, there was a degree of optimism among futures analysts that gold will stabilize and start to work higher again, particularly since it appears the conflict in Libya may last a while and the U.S. dollar was starting to give back some of its new-found strength," added Sykora.

For the week, gold prices retreated $6.80, or 0.5%. That reduced its yearly gain to a mere 40 cents.

March silver prices surged 86.9 cents, or 2.5%, to $35.94 an ounce. Silver’s weekly gain came in at 1.7%. It has advanced 16.2% this year.

In PGM prices on Friday, June palladium lost 90 cents, or 0.1%, to $765.50 an ounce while April platinum rose $16.10, or 0.9%, to $1,781.70 an ounce. Their respective weekly losses were 5.5% and 3.1%. For the year, palladium has fallen 4.7% while platinum has inched 0.2% higher.

U.S. Mint bullion coins rose as a group this week. As is almost always the case, Silver Eagle bullion coins picked up the most, advancing 717,000. That was better than its 575,000 increase from the previous week.

1-ounce Gold Eagle bullion coins came in second with its weekly pick-up of 24,500, which was more than double its previous weekly gain of 11,000. The smaller 1/2-ounce, 1/4-ounce and 1/10-ounce bullion coins rose for the first time this month, as the following march and YTD sales figure show:

2011 U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
1 oz American Gold Eagle 30,500 24,500 233,500
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 4,000 4,000 17,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 10,000 10,000 28,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 5,000 5,000 125,000
American Silver Eagle 717,000 717,000 10,379,000

Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold.

The biggest news out of the U.S. Mint this week revolved around a product pricing review and the announcement of distribution and mintage changes for the 5-ounce 2011 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins.

In London, all precious metals dropped on Friday and for the week.

The London PM gold fix price was $1,411.50 an ounce, down $1.75, or 0.1%, from the previous PM fixing. It lost 1.1% this week.

The silver fixing on Friday plunged $1.09, or 3.1%, at $34.10 an ounce. It lost 1% on the week.

The palladium fix was $754 an ounce for a loss of $15.00, or 2.0%, on Friday and 7% for the week.

Platinum was $1,777 an ounce, registering a daily loss of $1, or 0.1%, and a weekly loss of 2.8%.

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