With a surge in prices coming on the last day of trading for the week this past Friday, December 21st, the rallies fell short of digging precious metals out of the hole they dug for themselves over the week. The biggest loser on the week was silver, coming in at a 6.5% loss with platinum right behind it at 4.8%. Other losers for the week were palladium at 2.8% and gold at 2.2% down.
Gold Trends for December and Into the New Year
Gold continued to disappoint investors as it has now declined for four straight weeks, the first time that has happened in a long time. In fact, gold is still up 6.0% for the year despite being down 3.1% for the month of December. While the overall gains on investment are still up, the disturbing downtrend is being played down by many experts who say that this movement is normal leading up to the holiday season.
This opinion seems to be bolstered by the fact that gold delivery for the month of February has climbed $14.20 up to $1,660.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. This 0.9% rise was reported this past Friday, a climb that continues to rise despite suffering gold's biggest one-day loss this past Tuesday since November 2nd. In fact, after falling $27.50 on Tuesday, gold fell another $21.80 on Thursday, closing at a four-month low. Yet despite all of this, February gold delivery sales are still climbing. It would seem that the “holiday slump” is just that.
Late Liquidation and Profit
Over this past week, many traders were still booking profit, yet as the market has dipped a bit, those who haven’t previously liquidated are trying to preserve any profit they still have left. Speculation is that the year will close with gold up about 5%, still a nice increase if you were smart enough to get in on it earlier in the year.
Yet bargain hunters that are trickling in on small-scale volumes are showing that many people expect gold to rise in the coming weeks, months and year ahead. In fact, most people are betting on higher prices for next week as shown by a Kitco News Gold Survey that had 19 out of 33 participants responding with 12 seeing prices going up and only 3 speculating that gold would drop next week. The remaining four were either neutral or saw a sideways pricing move for gold next week as the most likely outcome.
Of those who are predicting higher prices for the upcoming week, many have found minor support in Thursday’s low, but place the majority of their speculation on the upcoming new year. If tradition holds true, the market will revert back to trading underlying fundamentals as it does each new year.
Other Precious Metals
Also making headlines this past week was silver, which saw a three-session losing streak broken. March silver is back up 52.5 cents to $30.203 an ounce, a 1.8% gain, despite dropping 61.1 cents on Tuesday, 55.3 cents on Wednesday and a whopping $1.44 on Thursday where it reached its lowest price since August 22nd of this year. Still, silver is up 8.2% on the year.
The delivery numbers for platinum closed at $1,536.90 an ounce, down $9.30, or 0.6%. Platinum is still up 9.4% on the year. March palladium closed up 0.3% with the extra $2.05 making the new price $682.30 per ounce. This marks a 4.0% gain on the year for palladium.
So, what’s your prediction for this week? As the year comes to a close, will gold be able to break out of its recent slump? Tell us below!