Market Recap 3/4/11


It was not until Monday night, when reports that the Saudi Arabian stock market fell over 6%, that precious metal prices began to move. Concerns of a “worst case scenario” began to grow and the economic health of the region became questioned. Oil prices moved up and Gold moved along with it. By the end of Tuesday, Gold was at a record high.

In 2010, China imported 5X as much Gold as they did in 2009. On Wednesday, it was reported that they have already reached 200 metric tones this year, which is approximately 40% of their imports from last year. China’s large appetite for Gold appears to be increasing. Gold futures settled at a new record high on Wednesday.

Thursday, the stock market soared and precious metal prices retreated. Venezuela volunteered their assistance to step in and help broker a peaceful resolution in Libya. In addition, the expectation of a positive jobs report on Friday created a renewed sense of optimism. These factors, along with the announcement that the European Bank may raise interest rates, created a flight from safe haven investments.

By Friday the safe haven fight had landed and the stock market plummeted over 150 points before settling – down 88 points. Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, while speaking on CNBC this morning noted that “there is no question that the momentum of the economy, leaving out the oil price issue, leaving out the Euro problems that have emerged, and very specifically leaving out the budget problems, this economy is really beginning to pick up momentum.” Those seem to be a lot of problems to leave out.  Mr. Greenspan did go back to this issue and say in so many words, that when you factor them all in, no forecaster knows with any certainty how this will all play out.

Gold and Silver continued to add to their gains this week. Silver is trading at a 31-year high. Oil also continued to climb sparked by new violence in Libya.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,411.00. The high during the week was on Wednesday, March 2nd, at $1,441.60, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, February 28th, at $1,407.90. Gold ended the week up $23.10 at $1,434.10. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $33.42. Silver reached a 31-year high of $35.73 on Friday, March 4th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, February 28th, at $33.26. Silver ended the week up $2.29 at $35.71. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,808.90 and ended the week up $36.90 at $1,845.80. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $792.90 and ended the week up $21.30 at $814.20. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins.

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, the official Silver bullion coin of Canada, has become one of the most popular Silver coins sought after by investors and collectors worldwide. Since first being minted by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1988, the design of the Silver Maple Leaf has undergone annual changes that include proof releases, various privy marks, holographic enhancements, and commemorative variations. However, the basic features of the Silver coin have remained the same since its inception. The obverse of the coin depicts the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, and the reverse of the coin showcases the signature Maple Leaf so closely associated with Canadian nationalism and reflective of Canadian pride.

What sets this Silver gem apart from its Gold, Platinum and Palladium counterparts is the fact that the consumer demand for the Silver Maple Leaf has caused the prices for the coin to skyrocket past the actual bullion value of the coin. For example, while the face value of the Silver Maple Leaf is five Canadian dollars, the highest face value among international Silver bullion coins, the coin has generated prices that far outweigh its actual face value. In addition to its high value, the Silver Maple Leaf is unique in that it is one of the purest Silver bullion coins on the market. With a 99.99 percent purity, the Silver coin ranks among the purest Silver bullion coins ever produced.

For its numerous positive qualities, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a treasure that could potentially enhance any coin collection or investment portfolio. Because of its high value, purity level, and clear symbolism of Canadian culture, the Silver Maple Leaf is a coin that has developed a high international profile and will most likely continue to play a major role in the world coin markets.

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