10.28.11 Weekly Recap

Gold is becoming an increasingly important portfolio balancing tool. The World Gold Council reports that even if investors hold alternative assets, they are not a substitute for the protection offered by a distinct allocation to Gold. The council commented,  “Even a small allocation to Gold, by mitigating risk, can consistently increase the returns from a portfolio.”

Gold has had a good week with solid positive gains. “Nobody really wants to go short on Gold,” said Bernard Sin of MKS Finance SA. “I don’t think Europe will be out of the woods yet.” Currently, there is physical demand in India due to the Diwali festival. Nick Trevethan of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said, “We’re seeing some progress in Europe, but the market’s been  disappointed before. There’s still a lot of good reasons to be holding Gold. The world is still relatively shaky; we’re a low interest rate environment in  many parts of the world.”

Leaders in the euro zone have agreed upon a plan to shore up Greece’s debt burden and to contain the debt crisis in the whole region. In the agreement, private bondholders will take a 50% write-down on their holdings of Greek debt, the European Financial Stability Facility will be increased to over 1 trillion euros, and there will be a recapitalization of European banks.

However, even with a plan in place to help contain the euro zone debt crisis, naysayers are already coming out of the woodwork saying the measures taken are short term at best and expect doubts to return. “The very best you can hope for is it buys you time,” said Jonathan Loynes, Capital Economics’s Chief European Economist. “It avoids an imminent catastrophe and means Greece should be able to meet its obligations in the near future, and it may restore a bit of confidence. But it won’t prevent the debt crisis overall from rambling on and indeed escalating.” Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou came out in support  of the plan as well, saying, “The crisis gives us the opportunity and this agreement gives us time. We negotiated and managed to erase a very important  part of our debt. Tens of billions of euros have been lifted from the backs of the Greek people.”

The U.S. weekly first-time jobless claims report showed a drop of 2,000 while the four-week moving average fell closer to the pivotal 400,000 mark. In an optimistic report, the U.S. gross domestic product rose by 2.5% in the third quarter, showing that the economy is expanding at a rate nearly double that of the second quarter. Inflation is also believed to be down to the 2.0% level, which lowered from the 3.3% level in the second quarter.

Lawmakers may be becoming complacent in their efforts to close the federal spending gap; Reuters reported that many lawmakers do not think another credit rating downgrade could affect the economy. Congressman Michael Grimm said, “There have been some that think we can absorb another [downgrade] and they hide behind the fact that the credibility of the ratings agencies has been called into question.” The attitude that the United States is the “cleanest dirty shirt” may cause paralysis in a congress that is  divided on such a hot-button issue.

Hedge funds seem to be betting against another recession. Many have placed bets on commodities which generally increase in value while coming out of a recession. “People are looking around saying, ‘You know what, the world isn’t ending,’” said John Stephenson, SVP and Fund Manager for First Asset Investment Management Inc. Silver, Platinum, and Palladium are all very industrial metals with many uses as raw materials and an increase in manufacturing levels may mean increased demand for those as raw materials.

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,638.40. The high was on Friday, Oct. 28th at $1,754.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Oct. 24th $1,636.60. Gold ended the week up $107.10 at $1,745.50. 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 $31.23. Silver reached a high of $35.70 on Friday, Oct. 28th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Oct. 24th at $31.23. Silver ended the week up $4.18 at $35.41. 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 $1,509.50 and ended the week up $140.10 at $1,649.60. 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 $616.40 and ended the week up $52.60 at $669.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Sunshine Gold Bars

APMEX is proud to offer Sunshine Minting Gold Bars in 5 gram, 10 gram, and 1 ounce sizes. Sunshine Minting is one of the premier minting companies in the world. Based in Idaho, Sunshine Minting is an American company that produces 24k (.9999  pure) Gold bars. These little pieces of inflationary protection come in their own tamper-evident packaging to ensure quality control and convenient storage.

APMEX and Sunshine Minting have come together to offer our customers high quality Gold bullion at affordable prices. Log on to APMEX.com to grab your own self-contained piece of perfection today.

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The Season of GOLD

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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.

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GOLD MEXICAN 2 PESOS

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For the next 48 hours, you can buy the Gold Mexican 2 Pesos for as low as $1.99 per coin over spot. This special pricing is only while supplies last until 3:00 p.m. CDT, Sept. 2nd.

The Gold Mexican 2 Pesos is an inexpensive way to buy a coin featuring the original Mexican coat of arms and eagle design from 1919 when the coin was introduced. The reverse has the denomination surrounded by a garland wreath.

Usually, smaller coins have a larger premium per ounce; this specially-priced coin gives you the opportunity to add to your Gold portfolio for under $100 per coin.

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

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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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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.

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The U.S. Dollar is the World’s Reserve Currency -Does it Really Matter?

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The short answer is yes.  America has advantages with the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency that other nations, such as China, would love to enjoy. Since the U.S. dollar is the medium of exchange in worldwide transactions, the U.S. pays for transactions in its own currency.  Other countries are required to exchange their currency into the U.S. dollar which results in additional transaction fees with each exchange. This means they will pay slightly more for the same commodity than the U.S. would pay. This reserve currency status also allows Americans to borrow at advantageous rates because our dollar is in a higher demand.  Last but not least, the U.S. can always print more dollars to pay its global bills.

We hear on occasion of appeals that America must go back to the Gold standard. Although I am not opposed to this idea; I do not see this happening. If we went back to the Gold standard monetary system, the participating nations would lose their ability to print more money to pay their bills.  I do see the possibility that the world reserve currency may actually become a basket of different currencies which would include Gold.  If you do not understand by now that Gold is a currency and not a commodity, you should. Central banks around the world began exchanging U.S. dollars for Gold back in late 2009; in 2011, they have only picked up the pace. I think the direction is that reserves for currency will be a possible basket of U.S. dollars, Gold, perhaps euros and maybe remnibi. You cannot count the Chinese out; they intend to be a global financial power.

As we watched the price of Gold break $1800 per ounce recently, many people directly attribute this to the loss of faith in government-backed paper money – more accurately, it is a loss of faith in paper money by their own central banks! What do they know that perhaps we should know?   

 By Peter LaTona, Vice President of Sales at APMEX

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Special Opportunity for Austrian GOLD- but Limited Time!

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Announcing a special price on Austrian Philharmonic Gold bullion coins: Any quantity for only $49.99 per coin over spot until 3 p.m. CDT, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011.

First minted in 1989, the Austrian Philharmonic Gold bullion coins were the best-selling Gold coins in the world in 1992, 1995 and 1996 according to the World Gold Council. The Gold Philharmonic was created as a Gold tribute to the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The obverse of the Gold Philharmonic coin depicts the Great Organ of the Golden Hall in Vienna’s concert hall, the Musikverein. 

Gold prices fluctuate, but the popularity of the Austrian Gold Philharmonic bullion coins only increases.  APMEX offers Gold Philharmonic bullion coins in “GEM” uncirculated condition in current and backdated issues. Many Gold Philharmonic coins are eligible for precious metals IRAs; buy Gold to invest in your precious metals IRA at APMEX.com.  APMEX makes it easy to buy Gold by offering competitive prices on all Gold bullion coins. 

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

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

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