Weekly Recap 6.17.11

On Monday, investors were jittery about Friday’s big selloff, and they cashed out their Gold holdings to cover losses in other markets.  Ratings agency S&P cut Greece’s government debt, indicating a strong possibility of a default.  Pimco’s Bill Gross said Monday that the U.S. is financially worse off than Greece and other European debt-laden countries. Mr. Gross makes the point that although the current focus is on the $14.3 trillion dollar debt, when the future costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are considered, the total is more than $100 trillion dollars.

On Tuesday, investors went bargain shopping and markets lifted off support from a few days earlier. The People’s Bank of China announced a rate hike indicating that they are making efforts to curb China’s rapidly inflating economy.  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “History makes clear that failure to put our fiscal house in order will erode the vitality of our economy, reduce the standard of living in the United States and increase the risk of economic and financial instability.”

Wednesday brought news of massive strikes and protests in Greece.  Images of riot police clashing with civilians made investors leery and sparked a selloff in the Euro.  Nervousness brought on by the situation in Greece caused a 164-point drop in the Dow.  CPI data indicated inflation in the U.S. and added fuel to the fire.

On Thursday the Euro continued its slide on the back of more chaos in Greece.  The jobs report released on Thursday added some support to U.S. markets but most attention was still focused on Greece.  Jobless claims fell last week to 414,000 claims; this fall in jobless claims was 6,000 more claims than expected. The moving average is still well above 400,000 claims and the June figures are not expected to look much different than the dismal May figures. The unemployment future still appears cloudy.

Germany and France announced Friday morning that they were united on a bailout plan to prevent a Greek default and this buoyed the U.S. equities markets. Continued protests however, indicate a lack of will in the Greek populace to make necessary sacrifices.  According to recent data from Case-Shiller, the current U.S. housing crisis could be worse than the Great Depression. Prices have fallen 33% since the collapse began which is greater than the 31% fall during the Great Depression. This Case-Shiller data is arriving when this QE2 is ending and the Federal Reserve must decide if the U.S. economy is able to stabilize.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,530.10. The high during the week was on Friday, June 17th at $1,543.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, June 13th at $1,511.40. Gold ended the week up $10.20 at $1,540.30. 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 $36.29. Silver reached a high of $36.53 on Monday, June 13th while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, June 14th at $34.40. Silver ended the week down $0.30 at $35.99. 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 $1829.10 and ended the week down $70.10 at $1,759.00. 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 $814.80 and ended the week down $66.80 at $748.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:      Austrian 100 Corona Gold CoinsBuy Gold, Gold Prices, APMEX, Austria Corona, Gold Demand, precious metals

The Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins are some of the most interesting coins in the world because of their history. For example, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins were among some of the first gold bullion coins available upon the enactment of an executive order on December 31, 1974, that re-entitled Americans to own gold bullion. In addition to their availability at the time of the 1974 order, the Austrian Corona Gold Coins are also fascinating because they are restrikes, which are official reproductions of coins that were originally minted for circulation. Issued from 1908 to 1914, the Austrian 100 Gold Coins first featured their date of issue. After the death of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph however, the gold coins were only produced as commemorative pieces and were dated 1915.

 Minted in Vienna Austria, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin is .900 fine gold (21.6 karat gold) and contains 0.9802 troy ounces of gold. Designed by Stephan Schwartz, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin pays tribute to Austrian nationalism and pride. The obverse of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin displays a portrait of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who ruled from 1848 to 1916. The reverse features the Austrian Coat of Arms symbol, depicting a double eagle and a crown. Moreover, the edges of the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins include the lettering Vnitus Viribvs, which means “the unified strength,” a well-known motto attributed to Franz Joseph I. No longer minted, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins are some of the lowest-premium gold bullion coins available on the world coin market. Appealing to both collectors and investors alike, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins have begun to attract attention for both their unique history and low-premium gold status.

Share

Market Recap 6/10/11

Sovereign debt trouble in the U.S. and Europe were the running theme this week. The U.S. experienced a hangover from last Friday’s disappointing economic news.  On Monday, Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, said that the U.S. might be recovering from their financial collapse of 2008, but Europe has not seen theirs yetIn Portugal, Prime Minister Jose Socrates was soundly defeated in weekend elections by the opposition party, led by Pedro Passos Coelho. Portugal’s parliament had already blocked austerity measures proposed by Prime Minister Socrates for being too severe. Now Portugal has a new party to lead them through a difficult future.

On the heels of the U.S. dollar falling to a one-month low,  Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, answered questions at his press conference on Tuesday.  “Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established,” he said. After the press conference, both metals and stocks lost ground that was gained early in the day.  President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and spoke out against rumors of a double-dip recession.

Wednesday brought about an important meeting which was touted as “…one of the worst meetings OPEC has ever had.”  The point was to bring production up, but this dissolved quickly.  Oil prices soared on the news.  In other news from the Middle East, Muammar Gaddafi’s reign in Libya is expected to come to an end.  NATO’s chief is appealing to the UN to help Libya transition to a democratic state.  NATO’s airstrikes are still in placeIn Syria, a number of civilians were killed in clashes between demonstrators and the government’s security forces.  The  situation in Yemen was similar as protestors rallied at the Capitol of Sanna.

The weekly jobless claims report in the U.S. was expected to show a modest dip of around 7,000 claims; however, it ended up swelling by 1,000 claims.  The stock market broke its six-day losing streak on Thursday but lost momentum, closing well off the day’s earlier highs.  The European Central Bank (ECB) met Thursday, and kept interest rates the same, as expected, but indications are that there will be a rate hike in July.  Estimates of a new bailout package for Greece now top 120 billion euros.

Mario Blejer, an Argentine economist wrote an article for Marketwatch titled “Why a Greek Default is Inevitable.”  It explains how the European Central Bank is making the Greek dilemma worse and there is no alternate ending available for Greece.  When that occurs, will it push other debt-troubled countries closer to default, such as Portugal and Ireland, who hold some of Greece’s debt?

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,543.00. The high during the week was on Monday, June 6th at $1,555.00, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, June 10th at $1,526.70. Gold ended the week down $11.00 at $1,532.00. 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 $36.22. Silver reached a high of $37.86 on Friday, June 10th while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Wednesday, June 8th at $36.07. Silver ended the week up $0.02 at $36.24. 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 $1,817.40 and ended the week up $1.70 at $1,819.10. 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 $785.30 and ended the week up $24.50 at $809.80. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product: Australian Lunar Coins – Series 2

The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, is a much-celebrated event in China and in countries all around the world. Beginning on the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar, the festival of the New Year is a centuries-old celebration which includes red decorations, presents, food, clothing and corporate family preparations for luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.  2011 is the Year of the Rabbit in the traditional Chinese calendar. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit will be a welcome change after the Year of the fierce Tiger in 2010. The Rabbit, an emblem of longevity in Chinese mythology, represents grace and kindness and will usher in a period of peacefulness and wise counsel in 2011.

In order to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, APMEX offers Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins which commemorate this event in the Chinese calendar. The Lunar Coins are a great addition to any coin collection since the theme of the coin’s design draws its inspiration from China’s ancient Lunar Calendar. The stories indicate the twelve calendar animals have profound influence over those born under their ‘rule.’ Offered in both Gold and Silver, the Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins commemorate the Rabbit’s place in the lunar calendar.   

Share

Market Recap 6/3/2011

Another week, another disappointing jobs report. The ADP private sector jobs report showed just 38,000 new private sector jobs in May whereas it was fully expected to be up by 175,000 new private sector jobs. The futures market opened low today as investors and analysts awaited this report. After the report was released, the futures market fell even further. When will economists stop being caught off-guard by low numbers? Some suggest they are in denial that the economic recovery is slowing down.  Fears of a double-dip recession seemed to hang on today’s nonfarm payrolls report. To put the report in perspective, April numbers showed an increase of 244,000 jobs. Analysts predicted May numbers would be approximately 125,000 jobs. The increase was actually just 54,000 (a nine-month low.) The unemployment rate sits at 9.1%. Stock futures tumbled along with the U.S. dollar index and gold recovered from early-morning losses.

Earlier in the week, there were hopes that Greece would finally be getting the economic help it needs to sustain itself. However, Moody’s has cut Greece’s credit rating by three notches, which drops the score into an extremely speculative phase. This news infers that the payoff of Greek debt is no longer based on funds and paybacks of loans, but speculation. The outlook is quite negative. Greece’s Finance Ministry disputes the credit rating cut and claims the government’s attempts to gain traction has not been taken into consideration, “[The downgrade] is influenced by intense rumour in the media and overlooks the Greek government’s pledges to achieve its fiscal targets for 2011 and to accelerate privatizations.”

News has circulated about a crisis in Yemen but most people have ignored the signs since the small country seems irrelevant to the bigger picture. Is this an accurate opinion? The Yemen situation is so dire that it may take years to recover. How is this relevant? The small country is in financial trauma and it needs restructuring as well as stronger leadership. The domestic oil supply and electricity was cut off by hostile tribes because of the crisis and resulting chaos. Food and water are becoming scarce. At times like these when food and water have become scarce, people are desperate for someone to take control and bring peace. Who desires to assist an oil-rich company?

A  Marketwatch financial analyst announced that, at the moment, gold is the choice that makes the most sense for investors. He explained,”Polls show that while most Americans see the need for the federal budget deficit to be cut, the majority of citizens are not prepared for cuts in Medicare and other entitlements that are necessary to materially reduce it. …And then there is the historical side of it: No fiat currency has ever survived.”

WEEKLY GOLD PRICES
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,538.10. The high during the week was onWednesday,June 1st, at $1,551.60, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, June 2nd, at $1,520.40. Gold ended the week up $6.00 at $1,544.10. 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.

WEEKLY SILVER PRICES
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $38.12. Silver reached a high of $38.77 on Tuesday, May 31st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, June 3rd, at $35.07. Silver ended the week down $1.74 at $36.38. 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.

WEEKLY PLATINUM PRICES
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,806.10 and ended the week up $11.30 at $1,817.40. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

WEEKLY PALLADIUM PRICES
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $764.50 and ended the week up $20.80 at $785.30. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Product of the Week:  2011 1 oz. Silver American Eagle

 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.

 

 Share