Gold, Silver Sustain Growth; Platinum, Palladium slide
Gold and silver remained upbeat following the expected adoption of quantitative easing measures by the US Federal Reserve in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, platinum and palladium were in the red for the first time in 3 weeks as the employment situation in South African mines continues to remain unsolved.
Gold, silver continue gains; platinum, palladium fall1
The gold spot continued its current streak of net positive weekly gains as it closed Friday’s trading session up 0.27 percent for the week. Friday’s final close pegged the price at $1,773.20, slightly down from its weekly high of $1,786.70 reached mid-Friday. The yellow metal’s rally this week was driven by modest weakness in the US greenback which fell by 0.3 percent versus multiple foreign currencies on the FOREX market.
Silver also rallied to close with positive gains posting 0.32 percent growth for the week. The current trading level of silver after 5 consecutive weeks of growth now approaches its 2012 high of $35.41 achieved in late February. Overall, silver is up 18.50 percent for the year and current economic indicators all point to a continued surge that is expected to challenge its 12-month high of $43.25 reached September of last year.
Meanwhile, platinum and palladium price bubble finally burst last week ending a 3-week stretch of consecutive gains. For the week, the platinum spot fell 3.55 percent to close at $1,632 while palladium also fell 2.48 percent to end the week at $669 per ounce.
Precious metal ETFs mirror spot
The precious metals ETF market sustained its 6-week growth by continuing to post positive numbers this week. For gold-based ETFs, Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) led the way with a 1.71 percent gain, challenging its 8-month high of $55.89 set in early March. Other gold-based precious metals ETFs also followed suit with SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) posting an in-week growth of 0.92 percent and iShares Gold Trust (IAU) recording a 0.94 percent growth to close at $17.27 for the week.
On the flip side, Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bear 3X (DUST) continued its long slide, now down to $22.61 as gold maintains a bullish outlook towards the end of the year. DUST belongs to a unique class of ETFs set up to mirror the inverse performance of a pre-determined index (bear), in this case the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index.
Platinum and palladium ETFs mirrored the performance of the spot posting losses for the first time in 3 weeks. ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT) lost 1.75 percent in this week’s trading while ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) also dropped 1.17 percent to follow the platinum and palladium spot slide respectively.
All green for precious metal futures contracts
The gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures market remain bullish despite the slide seen in platinum and palladium. COMEX contracts expiring at the end of the year and early next year are still forecasted as strong “buys” as investors expect QE3 measures to pick-up the market in the next few weeks.
Gold, silver shares outpace spot
Notable gold and silver assets show no signs of slowing down as key equities continued to deliver in this week’s trading. Rangold Resources Limited (GOLD) and Barrick Gold (ABX) led the way for gold equities posting 2.02 percent and 1.64 percent gains respectively. Kinross Gold (KGC) also performed well at 1.37 percent clearly putting its reduced production forecast for Q3 in the year-view mirror. Silver Wheaton’s SLW stock also gained 2.54 percent to close the week at a 12-month high of $39.91 per share.
Continuing conflicts over job benefits in South Africa’s platinum and palladium mines led to significant stock losses for Anglo-American Platinum Limited (AGPPY) and Anglo-American PLC (AUKKY) this week. AGPPY slid 5.63 percent for the week followed closely by AAUKY’s 4.51 percent loss. South African-based mines have been seeing an increase in worker protests over workplace benefits leading to temporary closure of multiple mines in the country. This week, Anglo American Platinum re-opened one of its mines in Rustenburg but only 20% of the workers reported for work highlighting the fact that little headway has been made in resolving employee displeasures over certain company policies.