12.9.11 Weekly Recap

Gold this week was heavily influenced by the European debt crisis, with prices rising or falling based on the latest the news from Europe.  Tuesday morning saw gold reach its lowest point for the week, with the price dropping as low as $1,708.  The highest price for gold during the week came late Wednesday afternoon, when the precious metal rose to more than $1,744.  By week’s end, Gold was responding to the European news positively, rising along with the euro.  Oliver Pursche, co-portfolio manager of the GMG Defensive Beta Fund, said, “When you have so much retail and ETF interest (in Gold), you’re not going to trade on the fundamentals on the short term. (But I) would not be surprised to see higher Gold prices longer term.”

Monday started with the focus still on the debt crisis in Europe, with Gold prices dipping and U.S. stock futures rising amid optimism regarding a resolution to the eurozone debt crisis.  With a European Union summit planned for the end of the week, Rockwell Global Capital’s Peter Cardillo said, “The (stock) rally continues, but it’s all about Europe and any disappointing news out of Europe later in the week could mean an about-face for this market.”  French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel found themselves under fire to agree on a “master plan” regarding the budget for the eurozone. They announced their proposal for the “Stability and Growth Pact” treaty to assist with strengthening the eurozone financial policy to reinstate confidence in the shared currency.  Commerzbank, in response to news that the European Central Bank (ECB) was expected to cut interest rates, stated in a note, “This should lend support to the Gold price, since the opportunity costs of holding Gold will remain low.”  Also, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that the U.S. service sector performed at a slower pace than expected in November.  Standard & Poor’s (S&P) came out with very harsh wording in its credit rating review for the eurozone, warning fifteen countries (including France and Germany) about a possible credit downgrade.

On Tuesday, optimism that eurozone leaders would come up with a concrete plan to shore up the debt crisis continued to spread, spurred on by investor belief that Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgrade warning to 15 European countries the day before would help that process along.  In a commentary written for Marketwatch, author Satyajit Das stated, “What happens in Europe will not stay in Europe.  The shock will be rapidly transmitted through trade, investment and the financial system to the rest of the world.  It may truncate the nascent U.S. economic recovery.”  There was fear that the European Financial Stability Facility also might face a downgrade of its respected credit rating if even one of the bailout fund’s six guarantors (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, and Luxembourg) was downgraded from a rating of AAA.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was in Germany Tuesday to attend the three-day eurozone summit aimed at finding a European economic resolution.  He indicated his support for the German-French initiatives pushing closer European financial cooperation, and urged policymakers to look to central banks to help provide protection from the growing debt crisis.

Wednesday saw many investors waiting on the results from Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, in which the result is expected to be a lowering of interest rates.  The big card on the table for the meeting was the proposed new EU treaty that would include tougher budget rules.  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner headed to France to continue promoting the American agenda while meeting with French, Italian, and Spanish officials.  Geithner stated, “I have a lot of confidence in what the president of France and the minister are doing, working with Germany to build a stronger Europe.”  The U.S. senate appeared to put “too-big-to-fail” banks back on its radar, with Senator Sherrod Brown holding a hearing Wednesday regarding “new oversight authority to shield Main Street from Wall Street megabank risk.” Comments made by German officials and the new economic figures had diminished hopes that a resolution would come out of the EU summit planned for Friday.

News about the European Union drove major market movement during this past week. Precious metals prices and U.S. stocks were both down Thursday morning after the announcement from the European Central Bank (ECB) that it would be cutting its key lending rate from 1.25% to 1%, while also introducing further measures in an effort to ease lending for banks.  Investors appeared to be hoping for news that the ECB would aggressively begin to buy bonds.  However, ECB President Mario Draghi announced the oppositeEuropean Union leaders meeting in Brussels came to an agreement on new fiscal rules for stricter budget discipline in the eurozone.  However, EU leaders were unable to come to an agreement on how to shore up the EU’s future permanent rescue fund, and the looming question about whether any new agreement would require major changes to the EU treaty wasn’t even brought up.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated, “Never has the risk of Europe exploding been so big.” The German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered, “The euro has lost credibility, and this must be won back.  We will make clear that we will accept more binding rules.”  Not everyone was convinced.  Scotia Capital economist Alan Clarke said, “One step forward, two steps back.  The eurozone leaders might as well not bother.  Pack their bags, go home, enjoy the weekend, and do their Christmas shopping.”  In the U.S., weekly jobless claims fell by 23,000 to 381,000, a better number than the expected drop of 9,000.

By Friday, after overnight talks in Belgium, 23 European nations (including all 17 eurozone members) were planning on a new intergovernmental treaty for fiscal discipline, which would include caps on Gross Domestic Product deficits, consequences for deficits exceeding 3% of GDP, additional contributions to the International Monetary Fund, and other features.  However, not every EU member was on board for a revision of the treaty.  British Prime Minister David Cameron, after telling journalists present that Britain “would never join the euro,” argued for regulatory exemptions that would protect the United Kingdom’s financial services industry. He said that the ideas proposed by French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel were not something he could “in good conscience” take back to the UK and put to a vote in parliament.  In response, President Sarkozy said, “Our British friends made unacceptable demands.”  Also on Friday, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded three French banks based on the continued negative economic outlook in Europe, explaining, “The probability that the (banks) will face further funding pressures has risen in line with the worsening European debt crisis.”

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold: Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,735.00. The high was on Thursday, Dec. 8th at $1,760.50, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, Dec. 9th at $1,704.90. Gold ended the week down $22.10 at $1,712.90. 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 $32.36. Silver reached a high of $33.09 on Monday, Dec. 5th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Thursday, Dec. 8th at $31.43. Silver ended the week down $0.08 at $32.28. 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 $1,533.60 and ended the week down $16.60 at $1,517.00. 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 $643.80 and ended the week up $43.50 at $687.30. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

2011 Kilo Silver Aztec Calendar coin

Honor the rich heritage of Mexico and its people with the 2011 Kilo Silver Aztec Calendar coin, now $100 off the regular price. With a full 32.15 oz. of .999-fine Silver, these incredibly detailed coins were minted in limited quantities. APMEX ships them with a magnifying glass, mint-issued box and certificate of authenticity. Order yours today, while supplies last.

Harder to Find than Many Kilo Coins

The Sun Stone (also known as the Aztec Calendar) was unearthed in Mexico in 1790. The original Sun Stone measures 12 feet in diameter and weighs 24 tons. The Banco de Mexico minted only 1,500 of the 2011 Kilo Silver Aztec Calendar coins.

Given the coin’s large size, Banco de Mexico was able to recreate this historic artifact in stunning detail. The 2011 Kilo Silver Aztec Calendar coin:

  • Comes with a mint-issued box and certificate of authenticity with a unique serial number
  • Includes a magnifying glass so you can fully appreciate the coin’s beauty
  • Packaged in a beautiful, laser-etched wooden display box

The front of the coin features the Mexican national shield (an eagle on a cactus with a snake in its beak) surrounded by previous Mexican national shields used throughout history.

Order Silver online today at APMEX.com!

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

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

Share

11.18.11 Weekly Recap

gold, buy gold, gold prices, gold price, gold rate, gold rates, how to buy gold, online gold dealer

The U.S. debt passed the $15 trillion mark this week.  What does a trillion dollars look like?  A trillion is 1 million multiplied by 1 million. 1,000 billion dollar bills in your pocket amounts to $1 trillion which is understandably inconceivable to most people. Americans should be alarmed about this $15 trillion debt when we learn that the ratio of U.S. debt to its GDP is now 102% and rising.  When the debt-to-GDP ratio of a country hits 90%, it begins to become a drag on future economic growth.  If this ratio climbs to 100% or higher, the economic growth becomes nearly impossible.

It appears that until Europe is fixed, its headlines will continue to drive the markets for the foreseeable future Robert Pavlik, Banyan Partners chief market strategist, expressed,“We’re capped, at least until we can knock Europe off the front page.” Gold fell more than $50/oz on Thursday as concerns of expanded contagion from the euro zone crisis caused large selloff in almost every market. There is a lot of fear, warranted or not, over the exposure of U.S. banks to the debt crisis in Europe.  The concern is not over any of the countries we’ve worried about over the past few months; the concern is the exposure of U.S. banks to French and British debt.  The exposure to Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain totaled a relatively manageable $50 billion as of Sept. 30th; however, the exposure to French debt is approximately $188 billion and exposure to British debt is approximately $225 billion.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe could be facing its toughest hour since WWII.  Greece and Italy both have new leaders but this does little to nothing in itself to solve the problem.  Both new leaders are rushing to form new administrations and coalitions to stave off the damage of escalating debt problems.  “Europe is in one of its toughest, perhaps the toughest, hour since World War II,” Merkel told her conservative party in Leipzig.  “If the euro fails, then Europe fails, and we want to prevent, and we will prevent, this.  This is what we are working for, because it is such a huge historical project,” Merkel said.  Investors continue to look for decisive action from euro zone leaders.

This time of year, hedge funds and other investment firms are required to make regulatory filings with the SEC to report their holdings.  These reports can give an indication as to the outlook of some of the world’s savviest investors.  It appears that many are cautiously optimistic but are still avoiding risk, mainly due to fears of a contagion from Europe’s financial woes.  Ryan Detrick, senior analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research, said, “We still think it makes sense to be cautiously bullish here.  Don’t go overboard, obviously, because those Europe concerns are clearly still relevant.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Christopher Waller, research director for the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, warned that economic recovery in the U.S. is likely to be a process that will take several years and that the Federal Reserve can do little to shorten it.  “Something’s happened in U.S. labor markets that we can’t overcome,” he said, adding, “No matter what we do, recovery is going to be slow.” Bullard has said the Fed shouldn’t engage in any additional easing of monetary policy unless the U.S. economy derails from its current modest growth, stating, “There’s no point in trying to say, ‘Cure cancer with monetary policy.’ It’s just not possible.”

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is pushing for a commitment from the Fed to do more to decrease the nation’s high unemployment rate.  Evans, who has been pushing for more aggressive action from the Fed for some time, said, “I just think this is the time to stretch the boundaries a little bit more and take a few chances.”  He is pushing for a plan that involves asset purchases (some form of quantitative easing (QE) as well as very low interest rates until the unemployment rate drops below 7% or until inflation rises above 3%.  At the most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Evans was the lone dissenter on the panel who favored more aggressive action, including a third round of QE.  Now, two more Fed presidents have released statements supporting Evans’ ideas.  But if Evans gets his way, how will the stimulus be paid for?

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,778.40. The high was on Monday, Nov. 14th at $1,797.60, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, Nov. 17th at $1,711.00. Gold ended the week down $50.40 at $1,728.00. 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 $34.10. Silver reached a high of $34.92 on Monday, Nov. 14th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, Nov. 18th at $30.93. Silver ended the week down $1.64 at $32.46. 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 $1,646.40 and ended the week down $48.50 at $1,597.90. 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 $664.30 and ended the week down $57.80 at $606.50. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

100 Corona Gold Coins & Gold 50 Pesos

For decades, these Gold coins have remained a world favorite for people interested in Gold investments because the premiums charged for these coins are normally lower than for most other Gold bullion coins. The 100 Corona coin contains 0.9802 oz. of 21.6-karat Gold. The Corona coins were originally issued from 1908-14, bearing the date of mintage; after the death of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, the coins were imprinted with the commemorative date of 1915. The Austro-Hungarian 100 Corona coin is no longer minted. The 50 Pesos coins were minted in Mexico City. The Peso coin contains 1.2057 oz. of 90% Gold and 10% copper that strengthens the coin to endure the wear of circulation.

Increase your Gold portfolio in thrifty fashion by adding Mexican Gold 50 Pesos bullion coins and Austro-Hungarian Gold 100 Corona coins to your holdings. While supplies last, buy Gold 50 Pesos and 100 Corona coins at only $24.99 per ounce over the Gold spot price at APMEX.com.

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

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

Share