1.13.12 Weekly Recap

gold bullion, gold coins, gold bars, buy gold, gold prices, gold price

Molten Gold Pour. photo: Flickr.com- Ashvin Mistry

Gold broke the recent trend of following the euro’s movements against the U.S. dollar, thanks to safe-haven investment demand that originated from the renewed jitters in Europe. Economic expectations are pessimistic with inflation rising internationally and economic growth declining globally. Investors are searching for a safe-haven investment, such as precious metals. According to Sundeep Sikka, with Money Manager (India) Inc., “The current global macroeconomic environment is very conducive for higher Gold prices.” Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors echoed this sentiment, saying, “People get so caught up with the next three minutes for Gold, and they should really be focused on the next three years. Does anyone really believe in the long-term strength of the U.S. dollar?” Holmes said the Gold price could double within the next five years. Investors are buying U.S. bullion coins at the fastest pace in over two years, and China is importing more Gold than ever.  One analyst noted, “The thing that’s caught people’s minds is the massive increase in Chinese buying.  Gold has demonstrated time and time again its ability to hold purchasing power.” A poll of 164 investors conducted by Nomura showed that 19.5% of them prefer to buy Gold and hold it until the end of the year. The poll compared Gold, bonds and stocks as investment choices.

The United States reached a “symbolic tipping point” as the country’s national debt surpassed $15.23 trillion, which is nearly equal to the value of its entire economy. Debt projections estimate that the U.S. economy grew to around $15.3 trillion in December, a figure the debt level is expected to surpass in January. Estimated retail sales figures for December were not quite to the levels anticipated, and a reported increase in jobless claims defied expectations. The U.S economy is facing several obstacles to successful growth, including a high unemployment rate, low demand in the housing market, and the European debt crisis. Economists will be evaluating their fourth quarter gross domestic product estimates after data was released Friday morning showing that U.S. exports declined in November, and imports rose.  The U.S. trade deficit is at its widest in six months, and is higher than the consensus expectations of economists.

The Federal Reserve’s modifications to its communication approach are drawing favorable reviews, with the Fed indicating that it will provide updates four times a year on its plans for short-term interest rates. According to the Fed, the U.S. economy is expanding at a modest pace. The main crux of further improvement continues to be a less-than-stellar jobs market, which has prevented incomes from rising. Residential real estate is still viewed as sluggish, but commercial property markets have shown improvement. Consumer confidence was generally “characterized as firmer than in recent reporting periods.” Transcripts released from the Federal Reserve policy meeting showed that as late as December 2006, top Fed officials including Chairman Ben Bernanke believed that the housing market was stabilizing and failed to anticipate the subsequent housing crash. Fed policymakers were seemingly oblivious to the threat housing represented to financial markets and the economy. The housing market’s crash resulted in a U.S. banking crisis and the biggest recession this country has seen since the Great Depression, as well as a corresponding increase in the price of Gold.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met to discuss Greece’s unresolved debt issues and to create a plan to ensure that the euro survives a potentially failing banking sector. The announcement was made that Greece would not receive its second bailout package (which would prevent a debt default in March) until Greece reaches an agreement with creditor banks on a bond swap. This week’s bond sale in Italy was not as successful as investors had anticipated. Even though Italy met the planned amount of 4.75 billion euros, hopes had been that the sale would bring in twice as much. The European Central Bank (ECB) decided to keep its key lending rate at 1%.  Afterwards, ECB President Mario Draghi warned of the “substantial” downside risks to the eurozone’s economic outlook, including increased debt market tensions, and stated that although there are “tentative signs of stabilization,” uncertainty remains “very high.” Fitch Ratings expressed that the ECB needs to do more to help Italy, the next big euro zone country seemingly in danger of default. The head of sovereign ratings for Fitch, David Riley, described a potential collapse of the euro as “cataclysmic.”  A French newspaper published a story that said that Standard & Poor’s would be downgrading France’s “AAA” credit rating by one notch.  Although the paper didn’t cite any sources and an official announcement wasn’t scheduled until late Friday afternoon, stocks experienced a triple-digit drop.  Gold and Silver saw drops as well, although they quickly climbed back up to the levels they were at before the news was released.  The expectation is that several other euro zone countries will be downgraded; this could force investment funds to sell bonds because they have a requirement that a set percentage of their bonds be AAA-rated. For those countries that would be affected, this could raise their borrowing costs. At a time when debt is rising and GDP (income) is declining, the last thing these countries need is for borrowing costs to rise.

Several hedge funds indicated that they are not willing to accept International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposals to bring Greek debt down to affordable levels by taking a voluntarily 50% loss on bond holdings. Instead, the hedge funds would prefer to either let Greece go bankrupt in the hopes that the hedge funds will be covered by the credit insurance they bought to protect against loss, or to get others involved and force the issue so that the funds will get paid in full. It’s a dangerous game being played by two parties with completely different interests. The hedge funds are focusing on what is best for their clients, and the IMF is trying to fix the entire sovereign debt problem in Europe. Greece is preparing to start final talks that could affect whether that country stays in the euro zone. In a move that will probably not sit well with German constituents already opposed to Germany’s role in the Greek bailout, German Chancellor Merkel announced that Germany would be willing to pay more funds to help conclude negotiations over the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) permanent bailout fund. The Greek bailout is viewed as the key solution before the European Union can work toward growth and job creation.

Tensions continued to grow in Iran, as one of the country’s nuclear scientists was killed by a car bomb on Wednesday. The bombing came as sanctions were being toughened on Iran because of its nuclear program. Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iran immediately blamed the U.S. and Israel.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has denied any American role in the slaying, and the U.S administration condemned the attack. However, Israeli officials, without admitting involvement, have hinted at covert campaigns against Iran, and Israel’s military chief of staff said that similar “unnatural” events could be expected this year if Iran continues along its path of nuclear development. The U.S. is looking for support from the Japanese government on imposing economic sanctions against Iran for its nuclear development program, as Japan is one of the top-three buyers of Iranian oil. President Barack Obama announced this week that the U.S. would freeze out financial institutions that deal with Iran’s central bank.

Recent data from China shows an increase in that country’s trade surplus for December.  Although expectations were met on export growth, import growth declined sharply. China is often seen as a major component of a global economic recovery. Barclays Capital Analysts said, “…the Chinese economy remains on track for a soft landing, with external weakness continuing to pose the biggest downside risk.” The U.S. and its allies are looking to impose stronger sanctions on Iran due to that nation’s nuclear ambitions, and China, as Iran’s top trade partner, seems to be caught in the middle. Hua Liming, former ambassador to Iran, said, “Iran will expect China to support its interests at the U.N. and other international circumstances, while the U.S. will exert tremendous pressure on China and use the Iran issue to judge if China is a ‘responsible’ major power.” Meanwhile, Chinese Gold imports from Hong Kong have climbed to a record high due to investment demand. China bought nearly 103,000 kilos from Hong Kong in November alone.

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold: Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,609.20. The high was on Thursday, Jan. 12th at $1,622.90, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Jan. 9th, $1,605.70. Gold ended the week up $32.10 at $1,641.30. 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 $28.25. Silver reached a high of $30.68 on Thursday, Jan. 12th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Jan. 9th at $28.55. Silver ended the week up $0.86 at $29.81 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 $1,428.40 and ended the week up $64.20 at $1,492.60. 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 $616.80 and ended the week up $22.20 at $639.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

australian gold, lunar coins, gold lunar, buy lunar coins, year of the dragon, dragon gold, gold dragon, gold coins, buy gold coins

Australian Gold Lunar Coins

Designed by the Perth Mint in Australia, the Australian Gold Lunar coins are among some of the most beautiful coins in the world. Centered around the Chinese lunar calendar, the Australian Gold Lunar coins appeal to collectors and investors all over the world. Created because of popular demand from international investors and the success of the Australian Gold Lunar Series I coins, the Australian Gold Lunar Series II began in 2008 with the Year of the Mouse coins and will end with the Year of the Pig coins in 2019.

Struck from .9999 fine gold, Australian Gold Lunar coins are a great way to acquire and invest in precious metals. Legal Australian tender, most Gold Lunar coins are struck with a larger diameter. Inspired by China’s ancient lunar calendar, the Australian Gold Lunar Series coins feature the 12 animals central to the calendar’s stories. According to the lunar calendar, each of these 12 animals has a profound influence over those born under its year of “rule.”

Order GOLD online today at APMEX.com!

Keep up with APMEX news throughout your week with subscriptions to the

APMEX Commentary via RSS feed and the APMEX Blog via RSS feed.

Share

12.30.11 Weekly Recap

buy gold, gold prices, gold price, APMEX, gold bars, gold coins, gold bullion, low spot prices, low gold price, gold dealer

APMEX Wishes You a Prosperous New Year!

The price of Gold has been heavily affected by the euro zone crisis this week. In the words of one analyst, “The developments in Italy have perked up the dollar, and that is pushing Gold down.” The long-term outlook for Gold continues to be supported by consistent purchases of Gold by central banks. Although there has been a recent correction in the Gold price, the viewpoint is still positive for the asset. According to James Moore of TheBullionDesk.com, “Precious metals have been hit, as traders and investors continue to lock in profits and bolster cash positions in the run-up to year-end. But, it is worth remembering that despite the recent correction, Gold is still on course to post its 11th consecutive year-on-year gain. And that, given the ongoing debt problems facing many economies, record-low interest rates and the highs in Gold this year, those with a longer-term outlook could view current levels as a buying opportunity.”

Gold demand in China caused the Chinese central bank to step in and ban most Gold exchanges, with the exception of the Shanghai Gold Exchange and the Shanghai Futures Exchange. The People’s Bank of China claims that illegal activity and lax management caused risks to emerge; the bank is now leading a team to clean up problems. Chinese citizens will still be able to buy the Gold they covet, however through limited means. Chinese officials and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda agreed to start directly trading their respective currencies with each other. This has been an ongoing issue between the United States and China, as China views the current currency landscape as too dependent on the U.S. dollar. The short-term effect is relatively limited to helping the current U.S. trade deficit with China; however, the long-term effect could be a devaluation of the U.S. dollar.

The situation in Syria escalated to a point where the Arab League finally intervened this week. The Arab League monitors tasked with observing the situation in Syria said that they saw “nothing frightening” in Homs, the city of 1 million people who has been the epicenter of protests. Some estimates have indicated that one-third of the 5,000 people killed in the Syrian crisis were killed in Homs. Many independent video reports have shown parts of that city that resemble a war zone. The Arab League’s worry has been that their monitors would not be allowed to search during their observation; this initial report only supported those fears. Despite continued observation by the monitors throughout the week, 10 people were reportedly killed Friday morning during protests. Activists hope to meet with the monitors soon to discuss the government crackdown on the protests.

The European Banking Authority set a June 2012 deadline for European banks to raise more than 114 billion euros in fresh capital in order to assure that European banks will have enough cash on hand after the price drop in European sovereign bonds.  The Italian debt auction showed no promise after Italy’s announcement of an austerity package and the recent lending done by the European Central Bank (ECB). Spain also benefited as its six-month debt costs were halved to 2.4%. The ECB has flooded euro zone banks with almost 500 billion euros in the hope that it would be used toward sovereign debt. Last week, markets rallied on the news in the hope that banks would buy sovereign debt or loan money to other banks and businesses to stimulate the economy.

The euro, clearly dealing with a significant lack confidence, experienced a rapid and drastic drop this week, falling through an important price point of 1.30. The euro fell relative to the U.S. dollar; Gold and Silver followed their historical trend to move down as the dollar moved up. There are several opinions as to why the euro fell so rapidly. One opinion is that the European Central Bank (ECB) might still decide to roll the printing press. Another opinion is that the weaker euro has to do with the rapid expansion (10%) of the ECB balance sheet. European banks took the money loaned to them by the ECB. Instead of investing the money, they risked less by parking the money in the ECB overnight depository. A third opinion revolves around the Italian bond market, which has been very unstable lately. All three of these scenarios may very well be playing a part, but the increase in the ECB’s balance sheet is probably the current driving factor.

U.S. analysts expected that the struggling housing market was in recovery. However, data released this week indicated that U.S. single-family home prices dropped significantly in October. The focus in the U.S. has been on improving the housing market to strengthen the overall economy. The number of people contracting to buy existing homes in November went up 7.3%, higher than the 1.5% expectation. Currently, mortgage rates are at all-time lows, while housing prices continue to fall. This provides strong stimulation for increased demand. Most economists see an improved housing picture as essential for job growth and a recovering economy.

Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. rose more than expected but the unemployment claims amount remained below 400,000. Initial claims for jobless benefits went up 15,000 to 381,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecasted 375,000 claims. Although this did break the streak of three weeks of declining claims, most analyst expect a gradual positive trend to continue.

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold: Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,595.20. The high was on Tuesday, Dec. 27th at $1609.20, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, Dec. 15th at $1,523.90. Gold ended the week down $27.20 at $1,568.00. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were  Gold American Eagles Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver: Spot Silver prices opened this week at $28.71. Silver reached a high of $29.22 on Tuesday, Dec. 27th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Thursday, Dec. 29th at $26.15. Silver ended the week down $0.77 at $27.94. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were Silver American Eagles, Silver Maple Leafs, Silver Buffalo Rounds and APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum: Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,437.40 and ended the week down $36.20 at $1,401.20. Popular Platinum products this week included,  Platinum Bars Platinum American Eagles, and  Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium: Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $665.50 and ended the week down $8.70 at $656.80. Palladium investors preferred  Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

buy gold, buy kangaroos, gold kangaroos, low gold price, gold prices, gold price,  gold dealer, low spot price

2012 Gold Australian Kangaroos

The Perth Mint in Australia released the third product in its 2012 Australian Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program: the Australian Gold Kangaroo. Much like the previous products in this series, the Gold Kangaroos are issued as Australian legal tender guaranteed by the Commonwealth Government of Australia. The 2012 Australian Gold Kangaroos are offered in sizes of 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz and 1 oz, as well as the larger 1 kilo size.

The Australian Gold Kangaroos have been offered by the Perth Mint since 1989, with each year featuring a different reverse design. The jeweler to Queen Elizabeth II, Dr. Stuart Devlin, created the 2012 design, which features a single kangaroo with a bush scene and windmill in the background. The kilo coin differs slightly, in that the image is instead a hopping Red Kangaroo. The mint mark “P” appears on the reverse of each coin, along with the inscriptions “Australian Kangaroo,” the date, the size of the coin, and the purity, “9999 Gold.” The obverse of each coin shows the Ian Rank-Broadley likeness of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the coin’s monetary denomination, 100 Australian dollars.

The Perth Mint originally opened in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint to help supply Gold sovereigns and half sovereigns, which were used as everyday circulating coins throughout the British Empire. In 1970, control of the mint passed from Britain to the Western Australian Government, which still owns it today.

Order Gold Kangaroos today at APMEX.com!

Keep up with APMEX news throughout your week with subscriptions to the

Apmex  Commentary via RSS feed and the APMEX  Blog via RSS feed.


Share

Buy Gold British Sovereigns!

buy gold, gold price, gold prices, fractional gold, british gold coins, gold coins, gold bullion

Attention buyers of European Gold: take advantage of special Gold prices on British Sovereign Gold coins, now as low as $14.99 per coin over spot! Weighing in at nearly 1/4 oz., these fractional Gold coins are an affordable way to increase your  European Gold Investment. They are easy to buy and sell if you need to liquidate assets. Order yours today, while supplies last.

Affordable and Unique Gold Coins

British coins are recognized around the world; fractional Gold coins like the British Sovereign are especially in demand. Since 1957, the Gold Sovereign has been minted for bullion purposes only. The mintage numbers are far lower than comparable Gold bullion coins from mints around the world. The front of the Gold British Sovereign coin features the likeness of the British monarch reigning at the time each coin was minted. The back depicts the famous legend of St. George slaying a dragon.

Flexible and Convenient Currency

These small denomination fractional Gold coins can be an important asset as part of a short-term emergency fund. When the moment calls, sell or exchange only as much as you need at any time.

Take Advantage While Supplies Last

Buy Gold British Sovereign coins at a reduced premium through the APMEX secure website.

Keep up with APMEX news throughout the week with subscriptions to the

APMEX Commentary via RSS feed and the APMEX Blog via RSS feed.

Share

The Season of GOLD

Gold, gold coins, gold bullion, gold coins, gold demand, gold gifts, holiday

Why Does Gold Demand Increase an Average of 11% during September thru December?

 

 

The last four months of the calendar year are historically the busiest time of the year for Gold sales.  If you look at the last eleven years, the increased demand for Gold has on average driven Gold prices up by 11%. If you look at the last eleven years, the increased demand for Gold has on average driven Gold prices up by 11%. There are many contributing factors to increased Gold demand, not the least of which is the Holiday season. 

Two of the largest contributors to the increase in Gold demand are China and India.  According to the World Gold Council, their purchases represent 52% of all Gold purchases.  Inflation has made prices more desirable for them;  those countries push their citizens to buy Gold for investment purposes.   For example, the Indian rupee appreciated 20% against the dollar in 2010. China’s inflation rate is 10% while their banks pay only 2-3%;  therefore, Chinese citizens lose purchasing power if they keep their money in banks.  Gold serves as a useful hedge against inflation and thus, its popularity grows within these countries.

We need to remember that seasons are different in other hemispheres;  August is the end of harvest in India.   In the past, over 70% of the Gold demand stemmed from the agricultural sector. Most of the Indian citizens deal in cash; they believe the best source of investment protections are real estate and Gold.  They also celebrate the Festival of Lights during this time of year. This is also the beginning of their marriage season starts where 24 karat Gold is given as a traditional marriage dowry.  India nor China have plans like Social Security so their citizens must provide their own financial security during retirement.

by Stephanie Chandler, APMEX Account Manager

 

Balance your portfolio with the 4th asset class of Gold today.

Keep up with APMEX news throughout the week with subscriptions to the

 APMEX Commentary via RSS feed and the  APMEX Blog via RSS feed.

Share

8.19.11 WEEKLY RECAP

Markets were still highly volatile this week and the lack of certainty has pushed Gold to new record highs.  Stocks are suffering from fears of a double-dip recession due to weak economic data in practically every sector. 

Early in the week, the markets were buoyed by the European Central Bank announcing that last week it began buying Italian and Spanish securities. According to Christoph Rieger, head of fixed-income strategy at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, “The market optimists will interpret this number as good news as it underscores the ECB’s resolve…Equally, the pessimists will point out that it is bad news as it shows how much money the ECB had to commit for the yield compression seen.” This came about primarily due to a failure of politicians to convince investors that the debt crisis could be contained.  Many experts are pushing for a new “Eurobond,” saying that such a common bond issuance would allow euro zone members to borrow at affordable rates, thereby solving the current debt crisis. However, the German government is strongly against the idea of issuing Eurobonds, fearing that such a move would increase borrowing costs for Germany while also reducing the incentive for troubled euro zone countries (such as Greece) to make necessary economic reforms.

All hopes of a common Eurobond went away on Tuesday; however, as the highly anticipated meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday did not satisfy world investors. The growing feeling is that plans for closer monitoring of fiscal policy in the euro zone are not enough to stop the debt problem from spreading to other countries.  This news, along with weak data about the overall health of the German economy caused jittery traders to lose the shred of confidence they had gained over the previous few days.

All of this culminated in a massive selloff late in the week, led by large losses in European financial sector.  World equity markets are plunging Thursday and Friday and the European banks are the cause for concern. Major Banks across the euro zone are sharply lower, as the news broke that the European Central Bank lent $500 million Euros to a euro zone bank, that had not requested a loan since last February. Although no details were offered, the market reads this as another sign of escalating difficulties in the European financial system, which could also affect U.S. banks.

Weekly Spot Prices

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,744.40. The all-time record high was on Friday, Aug. 19th at $1,881.80, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Aug. 8th at $1,730.80. Gold ended the week up $112.90 at $1,857.30. 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 $39.18. Silver reached a high of $43.04 on Friday, Aug. 19th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Aug. 15th at $38.69. Silver ended the week up $3.86 at $43.04. 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 $1,801.00 and ended the week up $79.10 at $1,880.10. 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 $749.00 and ended the week up $6.10 at $755.10. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

 GOLD BUFFALO COINS 

 In 2006, the United States Mint introduced its first 24-karat pure Gold coin: the Gold Buffalo Coin. The Gold Buffalo coin is designed after the famous 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel created by James Earle Fraser. The obverse shows the well-known Indian Head design, and the reverse features the classic buffalo design.

The Native American depiction on the Gold coin’s obverse is believed to be based on three different American Indians.  Before his death, Fraser named two of the American Indians- Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne.  Although many Indians have claimed to be the third Indian, Fraser could not recall the person’s name.  It is widely believed that the bison on the coin’s reverse was modeled after Black Diamond, a popular attraction at the New York Zoological Gardens.

The 2006 and 2007 Gold Buffalo coins were a huge success; they provided pure-gold competition for the Canadian Gold Maple Leafs. The 2008-W Gold Buffalo is the prize of the Buffalo collection.  2008 is the only year fractional Gold American Buffalos were minted and they are scarce. The 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Gold Buffalo coins are .9999 fine and are only available in a 1 oz coin.

To add the stunning 24-karat Gold Buffalo coins to your Gold coin collection or Gold portfolio, shop APMEX’s wide selection of Gold Buffalo coins. APMEX makes it easy to buy Gold by offering competitive Gold prices on all Gold coins.

 

Balance your portfolio with Gold today.

Keep up with APMEX news throughout the week with subscriptions to the

 APMEX Commentary via RSS feed and the  APMEX Blog via RSS feed.

Share