Gold has made modest gains this week, closing about $21 higher than Monday’s spot prices. Silver made big gains, having climbed about $2, a gain of nearly 7%. The news about the world economy was mixed with most headlines pointing toward continued, but slow growth. The outlook is optimistic for growth in the U.S. economy, which could be pushing silver prices up.
One week ago, the S&P announced downgrades to its credit ratings of several major European nations, but European markets reflected little concern for the downgrades. Markets initially opened low but soon turned up. The euro zone’s potentially good news revolved around the results of a French bond sale, which was surprisingly brisk considering France’s credit rating downgrade last Friday. Fixed-income strategist Orlando Green said, “The bill auctions have been carried out without a problem, which is helpful for market sentiment toward the euro area. The reaction to the S&P downgrade has been somewhat muted. The move wasn’t a surprise and was well-flagged for a number of the issuers.” The downgrades came as no surprise, as speculation had been in the news for a while. Steen Jakobsen at Saxo Bank said, “Effectively, the S&P did what it was supposed to do: It ignored the ‘PowerPoint presentation’ from the EU and looked only at the accounts. The accounts speak clearly for themselves: no progress, no real plans.”
The China GNP increased by 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, which was better than expected. Since China’s economy is primarily export-based, the increase is a good sign for the global economy as well. This news has provided a boost for commodities which include precious metals. Prices of precious metals also are being helped by good news out of Germany, which has provided a boost for the euro against the U.S. dollar.
Unemployment and jobs reports are key indicators of domestic economic growth. In data released on Thursday, the number of jobless claims decreased more than 50,000. Stocks opened on a higher note in conjunction with the feeling that the Fed has done enough to insulate the American economy from the euro zone debt crisis. The S&P 500 has gained 4%, the most since 1987. James Dunigan, chief investment officer for PNC Wealth Management, echoed that sentiment, saying, “Europe is important, but it’s not the end of the world if they see a recession. … We’re starting to see that modest economic growth expectation for this year.”
A true economic recovery this year in the U.S. is promising, thanks to an improved housing market. Homes are affordable, and the labor force is growing based on reports of a lower unemployment rate. Lawrence Yun of RBS Securities said, “December was a nice finish to a tough year in 2011. If that can be sustained, we are talking about a genuine recovery in 2012.”
WEEKLY SPOT PRICES
Gold: Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,643.90. The high was on Thursday, Jan. 19th at $1,670.60, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Jan. 16th, $1,631.90. Gold ended the week up $24.90 at $1,668.50. 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 $29.46. Silver reached a high of $31.72 on Friday, Jan. 20th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Jan. 16th $29.46. Silver ended the week up $2.80 at $32.26 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 $1,502.70 and ended the week up $36.40 at $1,539.10. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.
Palladium: Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $640.00 and ended the week up $40.00 at $680.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.
Increase your Palladium holdings with the Palladium Maple Leaf 1 oz bullion coins from the Royal Canadian Mint. Palladium, known as Platinum’s “little brother,” is worthy of respect as an investment vehicle. With market studies under way for a potential U.S. Palladium bullion coin program, the demand for the silver-white metal might be primed for a rise in the near future. Produced from 2005 to 2007, and again in 2009, the Palladium Maple Leaf was the first Palladium bullion coin issued by a major world government. The coin’s total mintage of less than 200,000 adds to its collectability.
The obverse of the Palladium Maple Leaf features the depiction of Queen Elizabeth II by Susannah Blunt. The reverse displays one of Canada’s national symbols, the beautiful single maple leaf. This Maple coin contains a full troy ounce of .9995-fine Palladium and bears a face value of 50 Canadian Dollars. Considered more precious than Silver and of a higher rarity than Gold, Palladium’s market worth is closely tied to the manufacturing sector. Palladium also fills a key niche in the jewelry industry as one of the two components used to produce white Gold (Palladium mixed with Gold).
Many investors have begun stocking up on Palladium products as demand continues to grow, and APMEX can help you start building your Palladium portfolio.
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