1.20.12 Weekly Recap

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Gold has made modest gains this week, closing about $21 higher than Monday’s spot prices. Silver made big gains, having climbed about $2, a gain of nearly 7%. The news about the world economy was mixed with most headlines pointing toward continued, but slow growth.  The outlook is optimistic for growth in the U.S. economy, which could be pushing silver prices up.

One week ago, the S&P announced downgrades to its credit ratings of several major European nations, but European markets reflected little concern for the downgrades.  Markets initially opened low but soon turned up. The euro zone’s potentially good news revolved around the results of a French bond sale, which was surprisingly brisk considering France’s credit rating downgrade last Friday. Fixed-income strategist Orlando Green said, “The bill auctions have been carried out without a problem, which is helpful for market sentiment toward the euro area. The reaction to the S&P downgrade has been somewhat muted. The move wasn’t a surprise and was well-flagged for a number of the issuers.”  The downgrades came as no surprise, as speculation had been in the news for a while. Steen Jakobsen at Saxo Bank said, “Effectively, the S&P did what it was supposed to do: It ignored the ‘PowerPoint presentation’ from the EU and looked only at the accounts. The accounts speak clearly for themselves: no progress, no real plans.”

The China GNP increased by 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2011, which was better than expected. Since China’s economy is primarily export-based, the increase is a good sign for the global economy as well. This news has provided a boost for commodities which include precious metals. Prices of precious metals also are being helped by good news out of Germany, which has provided a boost for the euro against the U.S. dollar.

Unemployment and jobs reports are key indicators of domestic economic growth.  In data released on Thursday, the number of jobless claims decreased more than 50,000. Stocks opened on a higher note in conjunction with the feeling that the Fed has done enough to insulate the American economy from the euro zone debt crisis. The S&P 500 has gained 4%, the most since 1987. James Dunigan, chief investment officer for PNC Wealth Management, echoed that sentiment, saying, “Europe is important, but it’s not the end of the world if they see a recession. … We’re starting to see that modest economic growth expectation for this year.”

A true economic recovery this year in the U.S. is promising, thanks to an improved housing market. Homes are affordable, and the labor force is growing based on reports of a lower unemployment rate. Lawrence Yun of RBS Securities said, “December was a nice finish to a tough year in 2011. If that can be sustained, we are talking about a genuine recovery in 2012.”

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold: Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,643.90. The high was on Thursday, Jan. 19th at $1,670.60, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Jan. 16th, $1,631.90. Gold ended the week up $24.90 at $1,668.50. 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 $29.46. Silver reached a high of $31.72 on Friday, Jan. 20th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Jan. 16th $29.46. Silver ended the week up $2.80 at $32.26 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 $1,502.70 and ended the week up $36.40 at $1,539.10. 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 $640.00 and ended the week up $40.00 at $680.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

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Palladium Maple Leaf Coins

Increase your Palladium holdings with the Palladium Maple Leaf 1 oz bullion coins from the Royal Canadian Mint. Palladium, known as Platinum’s “little brother,” is worthy of respect as an investment vehicle. With market studies under way for a potential U.S. Palladium bullion coin program, the demand for the silver-white metal might be primed for a rise in the near future. Produced from 2005 to 2007, and again in 2009, the Palladium Maple Leaf was the first Palladium bullion coin issued by a major world government. The coin’s total mintage of less than 200,000 adds to its collectability.

The obverse of the Palladium Maple Leaf features the depiction of Queen Elizabeth II by Susannah Blunt. The reverse displays one of Canada’s national symbols, the beautiful single maple leaf. This Maple coin contains a full troy ounce of .9995-fine Palladium and bears a face value of 50 Canadian Dollars. Considered more precious than Silver and of a higher rarity than Gold, Palladium’s market worth is closely tied to the manufacturing sector. Palladium also fills a key niche in the jewelry industry as one of the two components used to produce white Gold (Palladium mixed with Gold).

Many investors have begun stocking up on Palladium products as demand continues to grow, and APMEX can help you start building your Palladium portfolio.

Order PALLADIUM online today at APMEX.com!

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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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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.

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8.19.11 WEEKLY RECAP

Markets were still highly volatile this week and the lack of certainty has pushed Gold to new record highs.  Stocks are suffering from fears of a double-dip recession due to weak economic data in practically every sector. 

Early in the week, the markets were buoyed by the European Central Bank announcing that last week it began buying Italian and Spanish securities. According to Christoph Rieger, head of fixed-income strategy at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, “The market optimists will interpret this number as good news as it underscores the ECB’s resolve…Equally, the pessimists will point out that it is bad news as it shows how much money the ECB had to commit for the yield compression seen.” This came about primarily due to a failure of politicians to convince investors that the debt crisis could be contained.  Many experts are pushing for a new “Eurobond,” saying that such a common bond issuance would allow euro zone members to borrow at affordable rates, thereby solving the current debt crisis. However, the German government is strongly against the idea of issuing Eurobonds, fearing that such a move would increase borrowing costs for Germany while also reducing the incentive for troubled euro zone countries (such as Greece) to make necessary economic reforms.

All hopes of a common Eurobond went away on Tuesday; however, as the highly anticipated meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday did not satisfy world investors. The growing feeling is that plans for closer monitoring of fiscal policy in the euro zone are not enough to stop the debt problem from spreading to other countries.  This news, along with weak data about the overall health of the German economy caused jittery traders to lose the shred of confidence they had gained over the previous few days.

All of this culminated in a massive selloff late in the week, led by large losses in European financial sector.  World equity markets are plunging Thursday and Friday and the European banks are the cause for concern. Major Banks across the euro zone are sharply lower, as the news broke that the European Central Bank lent $500 million Euros to a euro zone bank, that had not requested a loan since last February. Although no details were offered, the market reads this as another sign of escalating difficulties in the European financial system, which could also affect U.S. banks.

Weekly Spot Prices

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,744.40. The all-time record high was on Friday, Aug. 19th at $1,881.80, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, Aug. 8th at $1,730.80. Gold ended the week up $112.90 at $1,857.30. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $39.18. Silver reached a high of $43.04 on Friday, Aug. 19th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, Aug. 15th at $38.69. Silver ended the week up $3.86 at $43.04. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,801.00 and ended the week up $79.10 at $1,880.10. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $749.00 and ended the week up $6.10 at $755.10. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

 GOLD BUFFALO COINS 

 In 2006, the United States Mint introduced its first 24-karat pure Gold coin: the Gold Buffalo Coin. The Gold Buffalo coin is designed after the famous 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel created by James Earle Fraser. The obverse shows the well-known Indian Head design, and the reverse features the classic buffalo design.

The Native American depiction on the Gold coin’s obverse is believed to be based on three different American Indians.  Before his death, Fraser named two of the American Indians- Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne.  Although many Indians have claimed to be the third Indian, Fraser could not recall the person’s name.  It is widely believed that the bison on the coin’s reverse was modeled after Black Diamond, a popular attraction at the New York Zoological Gardens.

The 2006 and 2007 Gold Buffalo coins were a huge success; they provided pure-gold competition for the Canadian Gold Maple Leafs. The 2008-W Gold Buffalo is the prize of the Buffalo collection.  2008 is the only year fractional Gold American Buffalos were minted and they are scarce. The 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Gold Buffalo coins are .9999 fine and are only available in a 1 oz coin.

To add the stunning 24-karat Gold Buffalo coins to your Gold coin collection or Gold portfolio, shop APMEX’s wide selection of Gold Buffalo coins. APMEX makes it easy to buy Gold by offering competitive Gold prices on all Gold coins.

 

Balance your portfolio with Gold today.

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Weekly Recap 7.8.11

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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.

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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.

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