Precious metals rallied on Friday, padding what turned out to be very exceptional weekly gains. Palladium logged a record settlement after soaring more than 9%, and gold finished the day near a 1.5-year high.
On Friday, gold for April delivery rose $30.70, or 1.6%, to finish at $1,966.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close was the highest since Sept. 16, 2020, when gold ended at $1,970.50 an ounce.
“Gold is clearly elevated and headline sensitive now and [in the] foreseeable weeks,” Jeff Wright, chief investment officer at Wolfpack Capital, told MarketWatch. Prices “could quickly accelerate above $2,000 or fall sharply — if there was some substantive settlement” in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which is becoming less likely by each passing day, he said.
Gold prices jumped 4.2% this week after sliding 0.6% last week. They are 7.6% higher on the year to date. In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street & Main Street surveys:
“This week 14 Wall Street analysts participated in Kitco News’ gold survey, who all said they see higher prices in the near term.
Meanwhile, 1,013 votes were cast in online Main Street polls. Of these, 714 respondents, or 70%, looked for gold to rise next week. Another 166, or 16%, said lower, while 113 voters, or 13%, were neutral in the near term.”
Elsewhere, silver for May delivery tacked on 57.7 cents, or 2.3%, to settle at $25.789 an ounce. The close was the best since July 16 when silver finished at $25.795 an ounce. Silver prices surged 7.4% this week, for their fifth consecutive weekly gain. Immediate prior weekly gains were 0.1%; 2.7%; 4%; and 0.8%. They are 10.4% higher on the year.
In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:
- April platinum added $36, or 3.3%, to end at $1,116.80 an ounce, for a 6.4% weekly increase.
- Palladium for June delivery soared $251.10, or 9.2%, to a record settlement of $2,981.90 an ounce. Palladium advanced 26.1% on the week.
The pair is higher on the year so far with gains of 15.6% for platinum and 56% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2022
Weekly sales of United States Mint bullion products slowed overall for gold coins and were flat for silver coins, according to published bureau figures. In week-over-week comparisons:
- American Gold Eagles rose 27,500 ounces against 37,000 ounces last week,
- American Gold Buffalos added 11,500 ounces compared to 10,000 ounces last week,
- American Silver Eagles were flat this week against 519,500 ounces last week, and
- American Platinum Eagles rose 4,700 ounces compared to 25,800 ounces last week — their first gains of the year.
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)|
|Friday||Last Week||This Week||January||February||March||2022 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||35,500||27,500||123,500||86,000||8,500||218,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||45,000||0||0||45,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||0||64,000||4,000||0||68,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||10,000||0||195,000||25,000||0||220,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||10,000||11,500||61,500||28,500*||5,000||95,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||519,500||0||5,001,000||1,500,000||0||6,501,000|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||25,800||4,700||N/A||25,800||4,700||30,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1 Oz Palladium Coin||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Tuskegee Airmen 5 oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
*The U.S. Mint on March 3 published adjusted February American Gold Buffalo sales. Their total moved up 2,000 ounces to 28,500 ounces.