12.30.11 Weekly Recap

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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.

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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!

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Video Commentary: Consider Re-Balancing Your Portfolion With Gold

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The financial markets continue on an unsettled course, and perhaps now is the time to consider re-balancing your portfolio with a World Class Asset with a history of offsetting the uncertainty in stocks and bonds.

APMEX Chief Executive Officer Michael Haynes talks about the instruction from the 2008 financial crisis, when Gold proved its worth as both a source of liquidity and enduring value. Many analysts are stating that today’s situation may be similar to 2008 all
across Europe and potentially, on a global scale. If history is our teacher, Gold could once again prove itself as a long-term storehouse of value during uncertain times.

You may not be able to predict the future. But one thing is certain: If you’ve allocated your investments among asset classes that
historically do not move in the same direction, you’ve got a degree of protection for your portfolio. If you haven’t diversified, perhaps now is the time to improve the balance in your portfolio with all four asset classes: stocks, bonds, cash and Gold — the fourth asset class.

Historically, Gold prices have moved independently of stocks. In fact, beginning three years ago, you can see in the
chart how Gold bounced back from the 2008 financial crisis, while the S&P 500 continued to struggle.

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As you consider your own portfolio, keep your investment horizon, at least the next 3 to 5 years, as your guide. History suggests that any pullback in Gold prices is an opportunity to add to your position in Gold.

 Our Most Popular Gold Investments

 

2011 Gold Canadian Maple Leafs

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Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins are a great way to invest. Many consider the Maple Leaf to be one of the world’s most beautiful Gold coins. Each Gold Maple Leaf coin is legal tender, guaranteed by the Canadian government for its weight and .9999 fine purity.

1 oz. Credit Suisse Gold Bar

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As one of the most respected names in the precious metals industry, Credit Suisse produces these 1 oz. Gold bars. Guaranteed .9999 fine, 1 oz. Credit Suisse Gold bars are packaged in their own assay card.

2011 1/4 oz. Gold American Eagle

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With this fractional Gold American Eagle, you get the stately beauty and symbolism of the the American Eagle at a lower price point. The Gold American Eagle one of the world’s most popular forms of personal Gold ownership.

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

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9.30 .11 Weekly Recap:

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As investors sold Gold to cover other losses, the price of Gold fell as low as $1,532 per oz. overnight on Monday, but rebounded quickly.  This quarter brought a 12% drop in the stock prices. The past week is the last week of the worst market quarter since the financial crisis; however, analysts expect the volatility to continue.   The European financial system is still in shambles.  The U.S. isn’t much better off (if at all). A November deadline looms over more deficit talks.

“Gold is one of the few assets that remain in positive territory this year, in a sense it is one of the last assets standing; as investors head for cash they sell the assets that have performed,” wrote Edel Tully, a London- based analyst at UBS AG, “While Gold’s retracement was not really a surprise, the depth of its plunge certainly was.”  Also, Silver prices fell as much as 16% to an overnight low of $26.07.  It has since rebounded above $30, but the Gold-to-Silver ratio rose up to 53:1; it has been in the 40:1 range for most of 2011.  The CME Group Inc. increased the margin requirements for both Gold and Silver as metal prices dropped below existing requirements two days in a row.  This action stabilized prices by removing some of the speculators from the market; the prices bounced higher and became steady later in the week.

The August durable goods report was released this week. The number of orders dipped by 0.1%; it had been expected to rise by 0.4%. The report indicated an unexpected slowdown in manufacturing. Orders placed for motor vehicles dropped by 8.5%. Platinum and palladium are highly used in the automobile industry, so this slowdown in motor vehicle bookings might have been a contributing factor to recent price declines in those metals. Stocks relinquished some of their earlier gains on the news of this report.

In a bit of good news, unemployment claims dropped by 37,000, finally breaking below 400,000 claims. The four-week moving average that is typically a better indicator of trends fell by 5,250 to 417,000. In order to show true improvement in the unemployment problem, the moving average needs to fall below 400,000.  This comes just after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called the weak labor market a “national crisis.”

Geopolitical issues continue in Yemen as a truce was broken after two people were killed in the capital city of Sanaa. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. fear that the unrest could endanger Western interests in the Gulf due to a large al Qaeda wing based in Yemen.   However, a key al Qaeda leader was killed in Yemen by a CIA drone strike early Friday.

The recent lowered gas prices are a signal that demand is low; the price of crude oil fell substantially.  Oil prices could be predicting another recession, as crude has fallen more than 15% in the last three months on fears that a recession will temper demand.  “Any resolution in Europe is likely going to result in lower spending…” said independent oil analyst Andrew Lipow, “…that means lower growth rates and poorer demand for oil.”  The U.S. Department of Energy also reported that gasoline demand was down last week by 2.4% from the previous year.

The market continues to suffer from headline risk – large swings in prices due to the headline du jour.  Markets were pushed higher on Thursday by news of lower jobless claims and the news that Germany’s parliament voted to pump more funds in the European Financial Stability Facility.

The bulls and bears continue to battle it out on Wall Street, but only time will tell who’s on the right side of history.

Weekly Spot Prices

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,641.00. The high was on Tuesday, Sept. 27th at $1,679.20, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Sept. 26th $1,35.00. Gold ended the week down $12.50 at $1,628.50. 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 $30.51. Silver reached a high of $33.59 on Tuesday, Sept. 27th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Sept. 26th at $26.15. Silver ended the week down $0.49 at $30.02. 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 $1,609.70 and ended the week down $89.31 at $1,520.40. 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 $636.80 and ended the week down $21.20 at $615.60. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

2011 5 oz Silver ATB Olympic National Park, WA

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Silver As Low As $2.49 Per Oz. Over Spot!

The Olympic National Park ATB coin is a 5 ounce .999 fine Silver coin designed with natural wonder in mind. The backdrop exemplifies the magnificent wilderness, while the Roosevelt Elk in the foreground brings living beauty to this coin.

Olympic National Park, located in Washington, boasts some of America’s best scenery. With four distinct ecosystems (coastline, alpine, rainforest, and forest), Olympic National Park is known to adventurers everywhere. Olympic National Park is located on a peninsula and is separated from the mainland by a mountain range. This beautiful 922,561 acre park is also home to the majestic Mt. Olympus.

The America the Beautiful Silver bullion program marks a significant change for the U.S. Mint’s coin offerings with the introduction of the larger format of five Troy ounces of Silver bullion. The entire 56-coin collection will display the beauty and diversity of America’s National Parks and sites. The coin designs duplicate each of the American the Beautiful Quarters. The Silver Series will be issued over the course of 12 years.

Own your 5 oz. America the Beautiful Silver coins today!

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

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9.23.11 Weekly Recap

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The $3 trillion deficit plan devised by President Obama was unveiled Monday; it featured a heavy emphasis on increased tax revenues from the wealthy. Today, the President stated, “”I will not support any plan that puts all the burden on closing our deficit on ordinary Americans. We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks who are most vulnerable.” The President’s comments referred to the idea, often repeated during today’s remarks, that all Americans should pay a “fair share” of taxes, as well as his vow to veto any Medicare cuts unless Congress raises taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Republican leaders were dismissive of the President’s plan. They were deriding it as a political stunt that is unlikely to ever be made into law. In response to the plan, Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate leader, stated, “Veto threats, a massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth,” while Potomac Research Group’s chief political strategist Greg Valliere said, “This is purely politics, aimed at Obama’s demoralized base. It undoubtedly has been poll-tested, so now Obama has a populist campaign issue. There’s obviously no chance this could pass (on a vote in Congress).”

Monday also brought a credit rating downgrade on Italian bonds by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) on concerns that the on going debt crisiswill raise borrowing costs throughout the euro zone. This move surprised many and only puts more pressure on policymakers to lead. The chief commodity analyst at Oslo based SEB AB sees Gold prices going higher until political leaders implement effective action. Bjatne Schieldrop said, “Under current circumstances, a long position in Gold is highly recommended.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report Tuesday which stated that the global outlook for economic growth was for a “weak and bumpy expansion,” which equates to a cutback to 1.5% from 1.8% and Europe being cut to 4% from 4.5%. The IMF’s Chief Economist, Olivier Blanchard, commented on the negative global outlook, “There is a wide perception that
policymakers are one step behind markets…Europe must get its act together
.” The IMF also forewarned the U.S. that hasty budget cuts could further weaken growth and added that the U.S. Federal Reserve should be ready to offer to further ease monetary policy.

The Fed released its plan for further easing on Wednesday, saying it will implement a plan known by the public as “Operation
Twist.” The Fed’s plan is to flatten the yield curve of U.S. Treasuries by selling short term bonds to buy long term bonds. This would push down the interest rate the government pays on 10-year T-Bills. Many other long-term loan interest rates (such as mortgage and business loans) are based on the rate of the 10-year Treasury bond. The net effect would be a reduction in borrowing cost for homeowners and businesses. If everything goes according to plan, the result would be job creation.  Following the announcement, both precious metals and stock markets fell sharply, with the Dow closing down 391 points on Thursday.  Precious
metals
continued their downward momentum on Friday with Gold down by as much as $100 by the time of this writing.

Typically, Gold follows the stock market down on days with significant downward momentum such as Yesterday. Traders have to sell whatever they can to raise cash and cover margin calls. They literally go by the motto coined by Art Cashin, “if you can’t sell what you want, then sell what you can.” Gold is liquid; they need cash, so Gold gets sold. Speaking of Art Cashin,
he is quoted today as saying stocks have not bottomed yet.

On Friday, the U.S. stock market was choppy, but precious metal prices continued to plunge. Hedge funds sold Gold and this is the number one reason why Gold prices were down. The big question: “Are they selling because they are no longer bullish on Gold or are they selling because they need to raise cash quickly and Gold is a highly liquid asset?” Hedge funds not only need to raise
cash to cover margin calls in turbulent times like these but redemption requests increase. Michael Gayed, Chief Investment Strategist for Pension Partners comments, “The tendency for individual hedge funds or anybody is to sell winners before they sell losers. What’s been one of the few winners this year? It’s been Gold.” Not all funds are selling and there are still some
strategists who predict Gold to reach $2,300. After all, even with the pullback, Gold is up over 20% for the year.

Art Cashin, Director of Floor Operations at UBS Financial Services, says there might be a Thursday–Monday scenario in play, that could cause a massive rally in the markets next week. Mr. Cashin explains that we might be about to experience this historical trading pattern. The Thursday-Monday pattern begins with a steep decline on Thursday with very high volume. Friday’s markets
turn choppy (high volatility) and then weekend news sets the market up for a massive sell-off (capitulation) on Monday. The sell-off usually ends by Monday, but can extend into Tuesday. Shortly thereafter, capitulation is followed by a massive rally.

Enjoy the weekend! Who knows what the markets will bring this Monday?

Weekly Spot Prices

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,812.80. The high was on Monday, Sept. 19th at $1,832.90, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, Sept. 23rd $1,631.70. Gold ended the week down $152.90 at $1,659.90. 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 $40.73. Silver reached a high of $40.90 on Monday, Sept. 19th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, Sept. 23rd at $29.85. Silver ended the week down $9.69 at $31.04. 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 $1,813.70 and ended the week down $193.20 at $1,620.50. 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 $736.30 and ended the week down $99.50 at $636.80. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

   2011 1 oz. Silver American Eagle

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2011 brought with it a newly designed Silver American Eagle. This current date of the Silver Eagle will only add to the coin’s legacy as the most popular Silver bullion coin in the world. Another interesting tidbit about the 2011 Silver American Eagle is the minting location. 2011 is the first year Silver Eagles have been minted at the San Francisco Mint since 1998.

The U.S. Mint began minting the Silver American Eagle (SAE) in 1986.  The 26 years of mintage have produced over 225 million SAEs.  Since 2000, demand for these coins has exploded.  These 2011 coins trade at premiums close to common-date Silver American Eagles, which makes their current date a bonus of sorts.  The 2011 SAE is a brilliant uncirculated coin that can be bought in bulk at APMEX.com and used in Precious Metals IRAs while potentially adding numismatic value to your investment.

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

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9.16.11 Weekly Recap

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APMEX made national headlines this week when Donald Trump accepted 3 Gold bars for an APMEX New York City Office. Donald Trump stated, “The legacy of Gold as a precious commodity has transcended to become a viable currency and an accepted universal monetary standard. Central Banks around the world are holding Gold as a reserve asset. It is also a terrific, potentially lucrative diversifier in a portfolio, especially with such volatility in the stock market.”

Gold is closing this week lower than it started, having backed off the record highs of the previous few weeks.  Earlier in the week, Gold dipped with stocks due to traders who cashed in on their Gold holdings to cover losses in other markets.  Later in the week, with more optimism surrounding Europe, investors became more comfortable with riskier assets.  This is reflected in the current higher stock prices and lower Gold prices.  Despite the optimism in the market, there are still many concerns yet to be addressed in the U.S. and world economies.

Concerns in Europe are set up like dominoes.  There were rumors that Greece would default on its debt this past weekend. While that didn’t happen, the issues in Greece are well-known.  French banks are at risk of large losses if Greece does default. Germany’s finance ministry is planning to bail out its major banks if Greece defaults.  Last Friday’s resignation of the European Central Bank’s Chief Economist, Juergen Stark, has a place in the situation also.

Traders were worried about credit downgrades for European financial institutions. After a recent review, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the credit ratings of two prominent French banks, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole.  The credit review was part of the reason for the recent tumbling European stocks.

It seems the market may be growing more comfortable with the Greek debt situation.  World leaders are working diligently to keep Greece from economic ruin; they are creating a plan to provide much-needed liquidity to European banks.  Traders’ confidence seems to be buoyed by the news.  Global stock indexes rose today as investors sell some of their safe havens (like Gold) to purchase riskier assets.  David Wilson, an analyst at European bank Societe Generale, told CNBC, “[T]here must be a bit more positivity for holding riskier assets… I still think the general trend for Gold is upward, but it’s a saw-toothed pattern and at the moment, we’re on the downside.”

The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced that it will coordinate with several of the world’s most prominent central banks on a campaign to provide banks with the U.S. dollars needed to avoid funding deficiencies.  With U.S. money market funds and other dollar lenders worried about the threat of default by Greece, some banks have found it difficult to get dollar funding for extended periods.  According to the ECB, “The European Central Bank has decided, in coordination with the (U.S.) Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank, to conduct three U.S. dollar liquidity-providing operations with a maturity of approximately three months covering the end of the year.”  In response to the ECB announcement, both the euro and shares in European banks jumped dramatically.

Concern is growing that the job plan proposed by President Obama last week could lead to another showdown with Congress over increasing the debt limit.  The President’s job plan would lead to $447 billion in additional spending before the November 2012 election.  This would cause the deficit to go over the amount agreed upon back in August of this year.  According to Robert Bixby, the Concord Coalition’s executive director, “The irony of all this is that…they may have to confront it (raising the debt limit) again soon because the deficit might be a great deal higher than we were anticipating.”

The Federal Reserve will reportedly discuss “Operation Twist” at their meeting next week.  This is a plan to shift weight in the Fed’s balance sheet more towards long-term securities as opposed to short-term debt. Michelle Meyer, an economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said, “That sends a signal the Fed is still active in supporting growth.”  The Fed is keeping a close eye on the debt situation in Europe as well as problems in the U.S., such as the troubling 9.1% unemployment rate.

Weekly Spot Prices

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,861.70. The high was on Monday, Sept. 12th at $1,865.20, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, Sept. 16th $1,765.40. Gold ended the week down $48.30 at $1,813.40. 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 $41.50. Silver reached a high of $41.60 on Monday, Sept. 12th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, Sept. 16th at $39.46. Silver ended the week down $0.77 at $40.73. 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 $1,838.50 and ended the week down $24.80 at $1,813.70. 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 $739.20 and ended the week down $2.90 at $736.30. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

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The 2011 Gold Mountie is the newest in the line of The Royal Canadian Mint’s top-notch Gold products.  At .99999 fine, the Gold Mountie is among the purest coins ever minted.

Issued to honor the rich history and tradition of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the 1 oz Gold Mountie is a perfect marriage of rough and regal, of tenacious and triumphant. The reverse of the coin embodies the true spirit of the Mounties. An upright, smartly-dressed officer rides at a full gallop proudly displaying the colors of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The front of the coin shows Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by the national symbol of Canada, the maple leaf.

The Royal Canadian Mint used their incredible talents to construct a brand-new design for the 2011 Gold Mountie coin. Surrounded by a 12-sided border, both Queen Elizabeth II and the Mountie hold their heads high. A mesh design behind the figures adds a sense of depth and movement to the coin. At .99999 fine, the 2011 Gold Canadian Mountie coin is a marvel of modern minting.

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

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9.2.11 Weekly Recap

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Happy Labor Day Weekend to our APMEX customers!

Gold has ended the week with solid gains because of safe haven buying by investors fearful of the future. Uncertainty remains the name of the game on Wall Street as we wrap up another week of trading.  Many markets have continued their large back-and-forth swings of the last few weeks. 

Monday looked fairly bright due to data released indicating that consumer spending, regarded by many as the main driver of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.8% in July after slipping slightly in June.  This data is good news for many investors, as it helped push stock prices substantially higher.  It also shows that the U.S. may not be quite as near a recession as was feared recently.  Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania said, “It’s a little far-fetched to truly believe that we are headed into another recession.  This data doesn’t support that view at all.”

One of the main contributors to the housing crash of 2008 was the sense false of security given when ratings companies gave an AAA rating to subprime mortgage securities.  Now S&P has rated a new batch of subprime mortgages as AAA higher than the AA+ rating it gave the U.S.  On Aug. 24, Gregory W. Smith, general counsel for the $41 billion Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado, said, “Everybody has been led to believe…that AAA means AAA means AAA across the board…anybody that didn’t learn in 2008 that (AAA) doesn’t apply should find another line of work.”

Dennis Lockhart, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said the Fed should be ready to provide more stimuli to the economy, possibly in the form of greater quantitative easing.  He cited “the weak data we’ve seen recently and… the rising concern about chronic slow growth.”  The first half of 2011 was the weakest six-month period since the recession.  However, three other Fed Presidents are against further stimulus; they voted to not approve the Fed statement that stated interest rates would remain low until mid-2013.

Data released on Thursday and Friday overshadowed the bullish optimism from Monday, indicating a slowdown in manufacturing productivity and a complete lack of creation of new jobs.  Once again the numbers have fallen below expectations according to the jobs report released Friday morning.  Most projections were for between 68,000 -71,000 new jobs to be created, but there were no gains and unemployment holds at 9.1%. Gold and Silver prices moved further up on the news.

 

Weekly Spot Prices

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,799.20. The high was on Friday, Sept. 2nd at $1,884.60, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Aug. 29th at $1,781.20. Gold ended the week up $89.50 at $1,888.70. 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 $41.13. Silver reached a high of $43.24 on Friday, Sept. 2nd, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Aug. 29th at $40.49. Silver ended the week up $2.24 at $43.37. 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 $1,830.30 and ended the week up $56.20 at $1,886.50. 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 $759.80 and ended the week up $16.50 at $776.30. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

PROMOTIONAL APMEX SILVER BARS

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

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8.5.11 WEEKLY RECAP

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Gold has moved opposite of the S&P 500 since February. The chart above gives a graphic example of the negative correlation between Gold and one of the other asset classes, stocks. Since February, economic stress in Europe and the U.S. has pulled the S&P 500 down while Gold moved higher.

After the Democrats and the Republicans came to an agreement and prevented a default on our nation’s debt, conventional wisdom says the market would boost as business and investor confidence increased. However, today’s reality is that the stocks ended low in the face of uncertainty over the debt deal. The terms include a $400 billion increase in the debt limit immediately, a $500 billion increase this fall, immediate spending cuts of $900 billion, and the creation of a Congressional commission to identify another $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.  Former Under Secretary of Commerce Robert Shapiro described these terms as “a mindless way to run a government.” J.J. Kinahan, managing director with TD Ameritrade, was quoted as saying, “Debt deal or no debt deal, we have some fundamental problems in the economy that we’re not dealing with.”

Monday’s extremely disappointing manufacturing report and last week’s revision of first-quarter growth estimates caused this change in focus. More bad news for the economy was released Tuesday; even though incomes rose in June, consumer spending fell (along with consumer prices). With most economists’ expectations of a credit rating downgrade from the top-notch AAA rating, stock futures were down and investors flocked to safe havens including Gold, which hit new record highs this week before falling victim to the massive selloff affecting all markets.

The stock markets are viewing a recession as likely as prices have continued to decline; stock prices hit their lowest points in almost two years. The concern has driven a number of investors to Treasuries, which is causing inflation concerns with the Swiss Franc and Japanese Yen. Mike Ryan, Chief Investment Strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas, said Thursday, “The mood right now is gloomy…The burden of proof is for better data that show the economy is not falling into recession. Tomorrow’s payroll report is crucial. If we see another disappointment, the stock market will have significant downside from here.”

The highly anticipated payrolls report was released this morning; it indicated an increase of 117,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate fell .1% down to 9.1%. These numbers were better than expected which finally brought some relief to Wall Street after two days of tension. Gold gave up early gains amid the news but one analyst says that South Korea’s recent purchase of Gold signals that it’s still not too late to buy Gold. An executive of one company stated that South Korea’s purchase is “significant, as it represents the first purchase of Gold by the East Asian country in over a decade. It would seem South Korea has joined the ranks of those countries that have lost faith in the U.S. dollar … it is no coincidence that many of these central banks are from emerging-market economies. Many of these countries have experienced the grim reality of enduring a currency crisis first-hand.”

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,628.00. The high was on Thursday, Aug. 4th at $1,684.90, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Aug. 1st at $1,608.20. Gold ended the week up $22.30 at $1,650.30. 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 $39.95. Silver reached a high of $42.30 on Thursday, Aug. 4th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, Aug. 5th at $37.56. Silver ended the week down $1.93 at $38.02. 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 $1,781.90 and ended the week down $66.90 at $1,715.00. 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 $832.30 and ended the week down $90.30 at $742.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

 

Platinum American Eagle Coins

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Released in 1997, the Platinum American Eagle coin is the only investment-grade platinum coin from the U.S. Mint. Since its introduction, the Platinum Eagle has become one of the world’s most widely-traded platinum bullion coins because of the patriotic design and platinum value. The obverse design celebrates freedom and opportunity with a portrait of the Statue of Liberty.  The reverse design is unique in that it changes each year; strength and security are portrayed in the theme of the American eagle. 
  
APMEX features the Platinum American Eagle coins in 1 oz., 1/2 oz., 1/4 oz., and 1/10 oz. denominations as well as uncirculated, certified, and proof conditions. Offering a wide selection of platinum products, APMEX can help you establish a platinum portfolio. Eligible for placement in precious metals IRAs, Platinum American Eagles can act as building blocks for investment portfolios. Start building your Platinum investment today!

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