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.
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.
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.
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.
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.