G’Day APMEX Mates! Announcing the Annual Australian Vacation Giveaway!

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APMEX has partnered with The Perth Mint of Australia to sponsor our annual vacation giveaway,“Escape to Australia.”  APMEX customers are automatically qualified to win a trip for two to Perth, Australia by purchasing $250 or more of 2012 Perth Mint coins from APMEX.com prior to October 15, 2011. The “Escape to Australia” giveaway includes round-trip airfare for two to Perth, Australia, hotel accommodations, $1,000 (AUD) in spending cash and a VIP tour of The Perth Mint. For details, go to Escape to Austrailia.  

The Perth Mint is one of the world’s premier mints and has a reputation for innovation and superb quality in its bullion and collectible coins including the 2012-dated Year of the Dragon Gold coins and Silver coins. The dragon is the only mythical creature on the Chinese lunar calendar; it will not be featured again on a coin until the year 2024. Don’t miss this opportunity to win a free trip down under.

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Market Recap 6/10/11

Sovereign debt trouble in the U.S. and Europe were the running theme this week. The U.S. experienced a hangover from last Friday’s disappointing economic news.  On Monday, Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, said that the U.S. might be recovering from their financial collapse of 2008, but Europe has not seen theirs yetIn Portugal, Prime Minister Jose Socrates was soundly defeated in weekend elections by the opposition party, led by Pedro Passos Coelho. Portugal’s parliament had already blocked austerity measures proposed by Prime Minister Socrates for being too severe. Now Portugal has a new party to lead them through a difficult future.

On the heels of the U.S. dollar falling to a one-month low,  Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, answered questions at his press conference on Tuesday.  “Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established,” he said. After the press conference, both metals and stocks lost ground that was gained early in the day.  President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and spoke out against rumors of a double-dip recession.

Wednesday brought about an important meeting which was touted as “…one of the worst meetings OPEC has ever had.”  The point was to bring production up, but this dissolved quickly.  Oil prices soared on the news.  In other news from the Middle East, Muammar Gaddafi’s reign in Libya is expected to come to an end.  NATO’s chief is appealing to the UN to help Libya transition to a democratic state.  NATO’s airstrikes are still in placeIn Syria, a number of civilians were killed in clashes between demonstrators and the government’s security forces.  The  situation in Yemen was similar as protestors rallied at the Capitol of Sanna.

The weekly jobless claims report in the U.S. was expected to show a modest dip of around 7,000 claims; however, it ended up swelling by 1,000 claims.  The stock market broke its six-day losing streak on Thursday but lost momentum, closing well off the day’s earlier highs.  The European Central Bank (ECB) met Thursday, and kept interest rates the same, as expected, but indications are that there will be a rate hike in July.  Estimates of a new bailout package for Greece now top 120 billion euros.

Mario Blejer, an Argentine economist wrote an article for Marketwatch titled “Why a Greek Default is Inevitable.”  It explains how the European Central Bank is making the Greek dilemma worse and there is no alternate ending available for Greece.  When that occurs, will it push other debt-troubled countries closer to default, such as Portugal and Ireland, who hold some of Greece’s debt?

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,543.00. The high during the week was on Monday, June 6th at $1,555.00, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, June 10th at $1,526.70. Gold ended the week down $11.00 at $1,532.00. 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 $36.22. Silver reached a high of $37.86 on Friday, June 10th while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Wednesday, June 8th at $36.07. Silver ended the week up $0.02 at $36.24. 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 $1,817.40 and ended the week up $1.70 at $1,819.10. 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 $785.30 and ended the week up $24.50 at $809.80. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product: Australian Lunar Coins – Series 2

The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, is a much-celebrated event in China and in countries all around the world. Beginning on the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar, the festival of the New Year is a centuries-old celebration which includes red decorations, presents, food, clothing and corporate family preparations for luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.  2011 is the Year of the Rabbit in the traditional Chinese calendar. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit will be a welcome change after the Year of the fierce Tiger in 2010. The Rabbit, an emblem of longevity in Chinese mythology, represents grace and kindness and will usher in a period of peacefulness and wise counsel in 2011.

In order to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, APMEX offers Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins which commemorate this event in the Chinese calendar. The Lunar Coins are a great addition to any coin collection since the theme of the coin’s design draws its inspiration from China’s ancient Lunar Calendar. The stories indicate the twelve calendar animals have profound influence over those born under their ‘rule.’ Offered in both Gold and Silver, the Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins commemorate the Rabbit’s place in the lunar calendar.   

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Market recap 4/15/11

This week was one of significant gains for both Gold and Silver prices. However, on Monday it was only Silver going up as Gold retreated on the news that a budget deal had been struck and that Libyan President Gaddafi was going to accept a peace plan brokered by the African Union. Of course, President Gaddafi made it clear he would not step down, which killed this proposal by the next day.

On Tuesday, Japan raised its nuclear crisis to the highest possible level, which is level seven. This puts this radioactive disaster on par with what occurred in Chernobyl back in 1986. The Japanese government, already under scrutiny for what appears to be a campaign of miscommunication tried to make the world feel better by letting us know, that there has been no real change, it has been level 7 the whole time. The government further states that although there is radioactive contamination in the air, water, soil, fish and vegetables, there are no immediate health risks. Comforting indeed!

Wednesday, Gold and Silver began to drift up as President Obama came out with his budget-cutting plan that chops $4 trillion off in the next 12 years. Apparently, many investors felt the need for a safe haven after seeing the details (or lack thereof). An interesting article written by Julian Phillips gave his view on why Silver has been rising faster than Gold. In a nutshell, Gold has been seen as an investment metal by high net worth individuals, central banks and institutions for a very long time. Silver did not take on this aspect until 2009. As Silver becomes the poor man’s Gold and as Silver gets the attention of high net worth individuals and institutions, it is starting to catch up in appeal.

Thursday’s jobs report was an unexpected negative surprise. New jobless claims rose last week rising once again above the 400,000 level. Economist polled by Reuters projected claims to fall to 380,000. The four week moving average, which is considered the best measurement, went up 5,500 to 395,750. Inflation fears grow as US core prices rose faster than projected in March, and the increase from one year ago was the largest since August of 2009. By the end of the day, Gold advanced more than 1% as it nears record highs. Fear of inflation, a weakening US dollar and more problems in Europe continue to drive investors to Gold (and perhaps Silver, which established a31-year high today.)

Friday’s news was that in the US, consumer prices rose 0.5% in March, which is 6% annualized. Also, a separate report shows that real average hourly earnings of US workers fell by .6% in March, and have declined 1.0% in the past 12 months. On the European front, Moody’s has again cut Ireland’s debt rating, which puts it on the verge of becoming junk status. Moody’s is keeping their view of this situation negative, thus pushing the Euro lower and putting added pressure on the Euro Zone’s weaker countries.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,476.40. The high during the week was on Friday, April 15th, at $1,489.80, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, April 12th, at $1,445.00. Gold ended the week up $11.70 at $1,488.10. 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 $41.00. Silver reached a high of $43.12 on Friday, April 15th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, April 12th, at $39.71. Silver ended the week up $2.12 at $43.12. 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 $1,816.50 and ended the week down $22.50 at $1,794.00. 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 $769.50 and ended the week up $1.50 at $771.00. 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 2011 1 oz. Platinum Australian Platypus.

On March 1, 2011, the Perth Mint in Australia unveiled a new Platinum investment coin: the Australian Platinum Platypus coin. The Australian Platinum Platypus coin is the latest addition to the Perth Mint’s Australian Bullion Coin Program. Until the release of the Platinum Platypus coin, the Perth Mint had not minted a Platinum investment coin since the Australian Platinum Koala coin. With the discontinuation of the Platinum Koala in 2000, the Platypus coin will pick up where the Koala left off in the Perth Mint’s series of investment coins.

Legal Australian tender under the Australian Currency Act of 1965, the Australian Platinum Platypus is struck from one ounce of 99.95% pure Platinum and has a face value of 100 Australian Dollars. For 2011, the Platinum Platypus coins have a limited mintage of 30,000 and will continue to have the same limited mintage for future years of issue.

Released by the Perth Mint, a world leader in the production of precious metals products, the Platinum Platypus coin features a captivating design. The obverse of the Australian Platinum Platypus coin depicts an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. Additionally, the reverse features one of the most unique creatures inhabiting the Australian Continent: the Platypus. Showcasing this interesting member of the animal kingdom, the Platinum Platypus coin celebrates the wonder of Australian wildlife. Illustrated in its underwater home, this semi-aquatic mammal comes to life on the coin. Created by Perth Mint designer Natasha Muhl, the image of the Platypus gives the newly-released Platinum coin an appeal that is sure to attract collectors and investors all over the world.

The Australian Platinum Platypus coins are a great way to acquire and invest in Platinum. To add these beautiful coins to your coin collection or investment portfolio, shop APMEX’s selection of Australian Platinum Platypus coins. APMEX makes it easy to buy Platinum by offering competitive Platinum prices on all Platinum coins.

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Market Recap 4/1/11

Monday began with Five Things to Watch in the Market this Week. 1) Stocks posted huge gains last week as the volatility index dropped. Will this carry into Monday despite continuing geopolitical risks, more radiation concerns out of Japan and new housing data? 2) What will the latest news be out of Japan? 3) The conflict in Libya and President Obama’s explanation of why and how long we will be there. 4) The New York Times attempt to monetize their online content. 5) Will the housing numbers be as bad as expected and will analysts begin to officially call it a double dip?

The stock market did continue to move up throughout the entire week despite a small pull back on Thursday. There was more bad news coming out of Japan as plutonium was found in the soil at a nuclear plant. President Obama spoke, but with little detail. The conflict in Libya is possibly easing…or at least the news coverage is waning.

Whether or not we say the words double-dip as it applies to the housing recovery or lack thereof, more disturbing data was released this week. The S&P Case-Shiller report showed prices in the top 20 US markets dipped another 3.1% in January. For those unfamiliar with this report, please consider that this is a three month running average, so this data includes October and November when interest rates were at historic lows. “Keeping with the trends set in late 2010, January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future,” says Standard and Poors’ David M. Blitzer. “The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery. At most, we have seen all statistics bounce along their troughs; at worst, the feared double-dip recession may be materializing.”

The above report, falling consumer confidence and even oil prices going up could not dampen the appetite for risks, as the stock market continued to rise. The appetite for risks may be growing, but some analysts are sounding an alarm. JP Morgan is loaning AT&T 20 billion dollars to help finance their purchase of T-Mobile. Moody’s is warning that this could be an early warning sign of another credit bubble as this will encourage other banks to assume too much risks in order to capture the lucrative underwriting fees.

The big news on Friday is that the economy added 216,000 jobs and unemployment falls to 8.8%. This report will be viewed as positive for the equity markets and bearish for Gold and Silver. We should keep in mind that we have still recovered only a fraction of the 8 million jobs lost in the recession and many economists say we need 250,000 – 300,000 in job gains each month to have any measurable impact.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,430.90. The high during the week was on Thursday, March 31st, at $1,440.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $1,410.10. Gold ended the week down $1.70 at $1,429.20. 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 $37.42. Silver reached a high of $37.98 on Thursday, March 31st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, March 28th, at $36.44. Silver ended the week up $0.49 at $37.91. 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 $1,750.80 and ended the week up $17.70 at $1,768.50. 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 $752.00 and ended the week up $23.50 at $775.50. 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 bullion coins from the Perth Mint.

The Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest currently operating mint. The Perth Mint traces its history to Great Britain’s Royal Mint, which opened the Perth branch of the Royal Mint on June 20, 1899. First established for the purpose of refining Gold and producing British Sovereigns as currency for the British Empire, the Perth Mint remained under British control until 1790. On July 1, 1790, the Perth Mint became a statutory authority of Western Australia. Now, the Perth Mint is owned by the Gold Corporation, a company owned by the Western Australian government. Under the Gold Corporation Act of 1987, the government of Western Australia mandated that the Gold Corporation direct and operate the Perth Mint.

Since its foundation, the Perth Mint has been producing and refining large quantities of Gold and other precious metals. Today, the Perth Mint is still highly involved in the Gold industry and the production of Australian precious metals legal tender. However, the Perth Mint is also involved in manufacturing a wide array of numismatic items for collectors and investors. The coins in the Perth Mint’s numismatic collections feature some of the most dazzling designs in the world. Discover the wonder of Australia with the magnificent Australian Gold and Silver coins produced by the Perth Mint.

APMEX offers a diverse selection of Silver numismatic coins manufactured by the Perth Mint. At APMEX, you can find coins from the following Perth Mint collections: Deadly & Dangerous Coins, Australian Sea Life Coins, Extinct Animal Series Coins, Famous Battles in History, and Discover Australia: The Dreaming Series Coins. These coins bring the Australian animal kingdom and historical events to life. Splashed with brilliant colors and stunning designs, the Perth Mint coins belong in your coin collections. To add these high-quality Silver coins to your coin collection today, shop APMEX’s diverse assortment of Silver products available from the world famous Perth Mint.

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Market Recap 2/4/11

Monday began with the news of rioting in Egypt and this news story continued to dominate throughout the week. At first, demonstrations were forceful, but without violence. Protestors and news reporters could walk about Cairo’s Tahrir Square without fear of attack. This all changed Wednesday, when supporters of President Mubarak (widely believed to be paid thugs), systematically infiltrated the square and injected violence into the equation. Even news reporters came under attack causing them to go into hiding and broadcast from hidden locations. Thursday evening, there were no live broadcasts from Tahrir Square.

On Monday, President Obama began to walk the tightrope between the US need for Egyptian support in the Middle East and President’s Mubarak dictatorial regime that is clearly contrary to US values. Staying as far away as possible from asking President Mubarak to step down, President Obama expressed concerns as to how President Mubarak treated his people. By Friday, The US became much more open about the need for a transition. Although still not publically calling for President Mubarak to step down, there is much speculation this has in fact occurred behind the scenes. The US has clearly called for a transition of power and this transition needs to happen soon.

One would think that the Egyptian crisis would have driven precious metal prices up sharply, but it did not. It was as if the market was ignoring the news. Stocks went up, oil went up, but precious metal prices languished. Then on Thursday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke came out saying that although the economy is showing signs of improvement, it is still needs life support from the Fed QE2 program. He further stated that, “There will not be full recovery until there is job creation”. Within 20 minutes precious metal prices rose significantly to where they are now. By the way, Friday’s job report was very disappointing, but the stock market can still depend on the Fed. We are still kicking the can down the road, and there will be a price to be paid.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,339.60. The high during the week was on Friday, February 4th, at $1,361.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, January 31st, at $1,323.60. Gold ended the week up $10.00 at $1,349.60. 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 $28.03. Silver reached a high of $29.29 on Friday, February 4th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, January 31st, at $27.52. Silver ended the week up $1.15 at $29.18. 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 $1,797.20 and ended the week up $51.00 at $1,848.20. 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 $818.00 and ended the week down $1.00 at $817.00. 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 2011 “Year of the Rabbit” Silver Lunar coins from the Perth Mint.

The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, has become a much-celebrated event not only in China, but also in countries all around the world. Beginning on the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar, the festival of the New Year is a centuries-old celebration that includes red decorations, gifts (Gold is a favorite), food, clothing, and corporate family preparations for luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.

This year, 2011, is the Year of the Rabbit in the traditional Chinese calendar. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit will be a welcome change after the year of the fierce Tiger in 2010. The emblem of longevity in Chinese mythology, the Rabbit represents grace and kindness and will usher in a period of peacefulness and wise counsel in 2011.

In order to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, APMEX offers Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins that commemorate this annual event in the Chinese calendar. First, the Lunar Coins are a great addition to any coin collection since the theme of the coin’s design draws its inspiration from China’s ancient Lunar Calendar, whose stories indicate that the twelve animals in the calendar have a profound influence over those born under their “rule”. Offered in both Gold and Silver, the Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins commemorate the Rabbit’s place in the lunar calendar.

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