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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APMEX is one of the most trusted and well-recognized leaders in the precious metals industry. These wonderful 1 oz. APMEX .999 fine Silver bars  carry the APMEX name and feature the patriotic American eagle design. Celebrate the Labor Day weekend by diversifying your portfolio with discounted Silver bars from APMEX. All 1 oz. APMEX .999 fine Silver bars are available to you for only $0.99 per bar over the spot price – but only while supplies last! Act now as this special pricing is in effect until 12 p.m. (CDT) Monday, Sept. 5.

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

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

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8.5.11 WEEKLY RECAP

Gold, buy Gold, S&P, Gold prices, inflation, recession, stock market

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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Weekly Recap 7.8.11

Debt Ceiling, Default, Aug. 2, Gold, Gold Prices, Buy Gold, Precious Metals

Some big gains for Gold and Silver occurred this week even though this trading week was abbreviated.  Gold spot prices went up $62.00 per ounce for a gain of 4%; Silver spot prices ended up $3.00 per ounce increase for a gain of 8%.

Sovereign debt worries around the globe continue to be the dominant news story this week.  Tuesday brought a downgrade of Portugal’s debt to a junk rating by Moody’s.  Moody’s was the first ratings agency to move Portugal’s debt to less than investment grade. Reflecting the sentiment that the euro zone is nowhere near the end of the crisis, Robert Tipp of Prudential Fixed Income said, “[Portugal’s] ratings downgrade reminds markets that it’s not just Greece with debt issues. Once Greece gets wrapped up, you move on to the next country.  …[T]hat will be the shape of things to come over the next year or two…”  The value of the euro tumbled on the news of the downgrade.

President Obama joined with House Speaker John Boehner, insisting that negotiators resist the temptation to “kick the can down the road” and settle for a makeshift, short-term solution to stave off a first-ever U.S. default on August 2. The administration and congressional leaders are going to take this opportunity to focus on a long-term budget plan to raise the debt limit.

The jobs picture looked positive all week, up until Friday.  The ADP employment report was released on Thursday, and indicated the private sector created 157,000 new jobs in the month of June.  This was a big surprise to the upside, as most economists predicted a more moderate number.  However, the nonfarm payroll report (which include private sector jobs, as well as government jobs), released on Friday, indicated that the net number of jobs created in June was only 18,000.  The public sector lost 39,000 jobs in June, indicating that government spending cuts are having a sizable impact on the employment picture.

PRECIOUS METAL SPOT PRICES

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,483.60. The high during the week was on Friday, July 8th at $1,546.00, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, July 5th at $1,486.20. Gold ended the week up $62.00 at $1,545.60. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $33.75. Silver reached a high of $36.90 on Friday, July 8th ,  while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, July 5th $33.80. Silver ended the week up $3.00 at $36.75. 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 $1717.90 and ended the week up $21.30 at $1,739.20. 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 $762.00 and ended the week up $19.90 at $781.90. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

FEATURED PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

   Gold  1 oz. Chinese Pandas

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The 1 ounce Gold Chinese Panda coin is the gem of the Chinese bullion program.  The Gold Chinese Panda has been minted since 1982 and is considered one of the world’s most beautiful bullion coins.  These coins may bear (no pun intended) a mintmark of S or Y.  The S mintmark designates the coin was minted at the Shanghai Mint, while a Y mark denotes Shenyang as the coin’s origin.  In an effort to maintain public interest in the Pandas, the Chinese change the obverse design each year (excluding 2002).  Fortunately for the artists and customers alike, the Panda is a majestic and easily identifiable creature.

As worldwide demand for the Gold Panda grows, counterfeiting has become an issue.  Interested investors should always purchase Chinese Gold Pandas from a reputable dealer (like APMEX) to ensure quality and authenticity.

Keep up with APMEX news throughout the week by subscribing to the APMEX Commentaries via RSS feed.

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Weekly Recap 7.1.11

Gold, Silver, Buy Gold, Gold Prices, Silver Prices, APMEX

Happy Independence Day, America!

As U.S. Independence day approaches, the American debt crisis is becoming the main focus of the news. The attention on the European Union’s problem was lessened due to recent developments in Greece making a bailout seem more likely. Greece and the euro zone crisis has not resolved, but the shift in focus probably reflects a sentiment that the American debt crisis is more imminent. 

The week started with the bipartisan meetings on debt ceiling already fractured after republicans walked out on Friday, citing disagreement over tax increases.  On Monday, President Obama met with leaders from both parties individually in an attempt to restart talks.  The deadline to pass an agreement to lift the debt ceiling is August 2, at which time the U.S. would have a bond payment due without the means to pay it.  This would result in default, which most analysts agree, would push the U.S. back into a recession.  Standard & Poor’s, a ratings agency, said they will lower the rating on U.S. debt to “D,” the lowest possible, if an agreement to raise the debt ceiling isn’t reached in time.

Things didn’t look much better for the U.S. on Tuesday.  Republicans and Democrats became further entrenched in their respective camps.  Things were on the upswing for Greece however, as France and Germany pushed for a “Plan B” for Greek debt in an effort to prolong a default and allow themselves as long as possible to prepare for it.  A default still looks inevitable. Also, the IMF got a new chief, Christine Lagarde.  This announcement follows the arrest in New York of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the IMF.

Greece’s parliament passed new austerity measures on Wednesday. This move was demanded by EU members and by the IMF in exchange for another round of bailout aid.  Some experts remain skeptical of the final outcome, and hold the view that a default is still inevitable.

QE2 officially ended on Thursday.  The weekly jobless numbers were released and the report showed an extremely slight improvement in the unemployment situation; the data only showed a decrease of 1,000 unemployed workers.  Also on Thursday, protests sprang up in Egypt.  Thousands of people, mostly youths, took to the streets of Cairo, were frustrated at the slow pace of court cases against top officials of the previous regime.

The Institute for Supply Management released data on Friday showing an increase in manufacturing productions, easing fears of a double dip recession.  The stock market had a strong positive response with major indexes posting impressive three percent gains for the week.  The dollar also strengthened which brought the price of metals down somewhat.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,501.40. The high during the week was on Thursday, June 30th  at $1,514.80, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, July 1st at $1,478.30. Gold ended the week down $13.70 at $1,487.70. 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 $34.43. Silver reached a high of $35.16 on Thursday, June 30th while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, June 27th at $33.38. Silver ended the week down $0.50 at $33.93. 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 $1,678.40 and ended the week up $42.10 at $1,720.50. 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 $734.30 and ended the week up $27.70 at $762.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

 

Featured Product of the Week:    1 Ounce Silver Britannia Coins

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In 1997, the Royal Mint produced one-ounce Silver Britannia coins issued only as proofs with a mintage of 20,000. Created to appeal to both collectors and investors alike, the design of the Silver Britannia coin pays tribute to British nationalism and pride.

The obverse of the 1997 issue of the silver coin features the “Third Portrait” used on British decimal bullion coins dated from 1985 to 1997. In 1998, the obverse design of the Silver Britannia coin changed to depict the “Fourth Portrait,” a more mature likeness of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse of the Silver Britannia coin illustrates the Standing Britannia, which appears in a horse-drawn chariot and resembles the Roman figure Boudica. The Standing Britannia image was originally engraved by G.W. De Saulles and used on the Gold Britannia coins for most of the issues following 1987. The Royal Mint seems to have settled on a pattern of alternating the classic Standing Britannia image and a special design on the reverse of the Silver bullion coins.

The Silver Britannia coins are also popular for their Silver value. With a face value of two pounds, the Silver bullion coins are .958 fine Silver, as opposed to the standard British sterling of .925 fine Silver. APMEX sells Silver Britannia coins in uncirculated and proof. APMEX makes it easy to buy the Silver Britannia coins of your choice by offering a wide selection of Silver Britannias and competitive Silver prices on all Silver bullion coins.

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Weekly Recap 6.24.2011

The sovereign debt crisis in the United States and the European Union dominated the news headlines this week; this has been another volatile week in all markets. 

On Monday,  Mohammed El-Erian, the CEO of PIMCO, told an Italian newspaper, “All of this has terrible human consequences and it’s associated with a transfer of liabilities from private creditors to European taxpayers. … [I]f this approach is kept up, more money will be wasted to save private creditors and the risk of a disorderly restructuring of the debt will be greater.”

Fitch, a ratings agency, reduced Greece’s credit rating to CCC; this rating indicates a 50% chance of default within 3-5 years. Fitch also took the opportunity to warn the U.S. that its credit rating would be placed on negative watch if an agreement to raise the debt ceiling is not reached by August 2. Although other agencies have issued warnings, Fitch was the first to talk about an actual U.S. rating downgrade.

On Wednesday, George Papandreou, Greece’s Prime Minister, survived a vote of confidence required for him to remain in office.  Papandreou is in favor of new austerity measures demanded by the IMF and EU in exchange for a new round of bailouts.  The fact that he received the vote of confidence is a sign that a compromise may yet be possible.

A new jobs report was released on Thursday; the results were a down sliding surprise.  The report showed that the number of people on state unemployment benefits rose by 9,000 when it was expected to fall by 1,000.  While either move would have been relatively small, this is another economic indicator that the recovery is not going as fast as desired.  At a press conference on Thursday, Ben Bernanke said, “We don’t have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting.”  Also, negotiations between top U.S. lawmakers from both parties broke down as Republicans unexpectedly walked out, citing an impasse regarding the tax increases demanded by Democrats.

Michael Haynes, the CEO of APMEX, was invited to speak on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange on Thursday about the recent activity of central banks. Traditionally, central banks are a source of Gold supply in the retail Gold market; now many central banks purchase and hold Gold. 

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,539.50. The high during the week was on Wednesday, June 22nd   at $1,559.30, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, June 24th at $1,498.50. Gold ended the week down $36.20 at $1,503.30. 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 $35.88. Silver reached a high of $36.77 on Wednesday, June 22nd while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, June 24th at $34.45. Silver ended the week down $1.45 at $34.43. 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 $1755.00 and ended the week down $67.00 at $1,688.00. 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 $748.00 and ended the week down $12.60 at $735.40. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:  (1 oz) .999 Fine Palladium Bar/ Pamp Suisse (w/Assay Card)

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The 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bar is a world-renowned bullion staple.  Palladium is considered to be platinum’s little brother, but it is worthy of its own respect.  The design of this bar is uniquely Pamp Suisse and the included assay card guarantees its authenticity.  Like platinum, palladium is considered a precious metal whose market worth is closely tied to the manufacturing sector.  Palladium is used to make everything from surgical instruments to catalytic converters.  The international demand for palladium has caused the spot price to nearly double in the last twelve months.  As worldwide manufacturing increases, so should the spot price of palladium.

Fun Fact: White gold is a combination of gold and palladium.

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