Market Recap 4/29/11

Gold and Silver started the week on the upside and remained upbeat all week. On Monday, Silver nearly broke the $50 barrier before backing off profit-taking. It turned out to be preparation for another move upwards. On Monday the IMF (International Monetary Fund) dropped bombshell news. The Age of America will end and then China will take over as the world’s largest economy in 2016. If you forgot your calculator, that is less than five years away.

The University of Texas made an extraordinary investment decision on April 15th. Not only did they move 5% of their assets into gold, they bought physical Gold instead of an ETF. This second-largest academic endowment in the U.S. decided they needed insurance against inflation as a result of current fiscal and monetary policies. “The role Gold plays in our portfolio is as a hedge against currencies. The concern is that we have excess monetary and fiscal stimulus,” Bruce Zimmerman, CEO of The University of Texas Investment Management Company told CNBC television. Mr. Zimmerman also described Gold as an anti-currency since it is in limited supply. He described, “You can’t turn on the printing presses and make more Gold.”  Gold will not only protect you against inflation and currency risk but market failure as well. This story created big news and was commentated on for three to four days.

The buzz began on Monday as the investment world awaited Wednesday’s Federal Reserve Board announcement. Federal Chairman Bernanke was the first Federal Chairman to ever hold a press conference which immediately followed the announcement on interest rates. The precious metals market was unusually jittery preceding the event.

During the Fed announcement, Gold and Silver began to go up. Platinum and Palladium, which had declined on Monday and Tuesday, also began to rise. Once Mr. Bernanke’s press conference concluded, they rose more and continued this path through Friday.

The Fed is continuing down the same path. Mr. Bernanke acknowledges there were inflationary pressures in the first quarter, but the Fed feels they are transitory. He acknowledges the economic growth was less than expected in the first quarter, but this is also transitory. Gold and Silver went up as a bet against their wisdom and the stock market climbed on the news of more easy money. The U.S. dollar began its descent down to 3-year lows.

On Friday, Gold soared to all-time record highs. Silver was up marginally, while Platinum and Palladium both showed significant gains. The decline of the U.S. dollar has begun to signal more Central Banks to exchange their U.S. dollars for Gold.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,513.50. The high during the week was on Friday, April 29th, at $1,558.00, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, April 26th, at $1,492.00. Gold ended the week up $53.80 at $1,567.30. 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 $46.86. Silver reached a high of $49.82 on Monday, April 25th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, April 26th, at $44.61. Silver ended the week up $1.18 at $48.04. 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 $1,816.60 and ended the week up $62.40 at $1,879.00. 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 $771.80 and ended the week up $24.80 at $796.60. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:

Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the 2011 Gettysburg & Glacier Silver Two Coin America The Beautiful Set.

Minted in the same design as the popular America The Beautiful quarter series, these extremely popular “large format” five ounce .999 fine Silver bullion coins are the first two America The Beautiful coins to be released in 2011. One side features a prominent national park design and the opposite side features founding father George Washington. The parks featured in this set are The Gettysburg National Military Park and The Glacier National Park.

The Gettysburg National Military Park coin shows the Soldiers National Monument, which stands in the center of the Soldiers National Cemetery. This monument was constructed to honor the soldiers who fell at the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. The statue now stands guard over the 6,000 American soldiers laid to rest at Gettysburg.

The Glacier National Park coin depicts the majestic glacier-carved Mount Reynolds. The mountain goat in the foreground reminds us of the diverse wildlife fostered within Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park obtained federal protected status on February 22, 1897 and consists of 1,000,000 acres.

The Gettysburg & Glacier Silver Two Coin America The Beautiful Set will only be sold as a set and will not be available individually. APMEX makes it easy to buy Silver by offering competitive Silver prices on all Silver products and a satisfaction guarantee.

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Market Recap 4/22/11

The week began with striking news that the University of Texas traded out of their Gold ETF and into the actual physical bullion. The University of Texas took delivery of 6,643  100 ounce Gold bars worth $987 million on Friday, April 15. The UT Investment Management Company did not buy Gold, they chose to convert their “paper” Gold investments into the actual bullion bars. “If you own a paper contract where they can only deliver you 10 cents on the dollar or less, you should probably convert it to physical,” said Bass. The bars will be stored at HSBC Bank in New York. This news created additional stories and repercussions all through the week.

Gold and Silver prices were on the rise Monday, but when Standard & Poor’s came out with a negative outlook on US credit, they began to soar. “We believe there is a material risk that US policy makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium-and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013,” New York-based S&P said in a report. This statement does not lower the current AAA rating, but it still brought the White House to the defensive, as they claim this is all about politics. Gold briefly crossed $1,500 on Tuesday and Silver crossed $44 oz.

More news on Wednesday was bullish for Gold and Silver. The US dollar slipped against six major currencies and is trading at a 16-month low. This, along with continued concerns with inflationary pressures and the US and European debt problems, have propelled both Gold and Silver upwards. Gold cemented gains above the $1,500 threshold. Silver crossed $45.

Wednesday and Thursday were equally as good for the stock market, as the precious metals markets. Platinum and Palladium, which more often move in conjunction with stock prices, reversed downward trends and burst forward with large gains.

Friday is Good Friday. The stock and precious metal markets are closed. Happy Holidays!

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,488.10. The high during the week was on Thursday, April 21st, at $1,513.50, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, April 18th, at $1,477.80. Gold ended the week up $25.40 at $1,513.50. 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 $43.12. Silver reached a high of $46.86 on Thursday, April 21st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, April 18th, at $42.20. Silver ended the week up $3.74 at $46.86. 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 $1,794.00 and ended the week up $22.60 at $1,816.60. 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 $771.00 and ended the week up $0.80 at $771.80. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the British Gold Britannia coins.

Unveiled by the Royal Mint in 1987, the Gold Britannia coins are British Gold bullion coins that have begun to play a major role on the coin market. Every year since 1987, the Gold Britannia has been issued in both proof and bullion versions. Gold Britannias are issued in 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 oz sizes with face values in British pounds (£) of £100, £50, £25, and £10, respectively. Gold Britannias are .917 Gold (22-karat Gold) and are legal tender in Great Britain. Until 1990, the Gold Britannia was alloyed with copper. However, beginning in 1990, the Gold Britannia has been alloyed with Silver, which gives the Gold Britannias issued since 1990 a lighter yellow color than the earlier Britannias.

The Gold Britannia’s attractive design was created to appeal to both collectors and investors alike. The obverse of the Gold Britannia bears a depiction of Queen Elizabeth II. The Gold Britannias issued from 1987 to 1997 feature the “Third Portrait” of Queen Elizabeth II, while the “Fourth Portrait,” a more mature likeness of Queen Elizabeth II, graces the Gold Britannias issued from 1998 and on to the Gold Britannias being produced today.

The reverse pays tribute to the Britannia image that first appeared on coins produced under the rule of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. An ancient term for Great Britain, Britannia began to personify the island of Great Britain in the first-century Roman world. Illustrated as a goddess, Britannia resembles the Roman figure Boudica. Britannia first appeared on British coins in 1672, when she graced the farthings and halfpennies of Charles II. However, the Gold Britannia is the first Gold coin since the days of the Romans to feature the Britannia image.

Since its first appearance on British coins, the image of Britannia has evolved over the years. Though usually portrayed seated, Britannia appeared standing on British Trade Dollars from 1901 to 1935 and on the florins of Edward VII from 1902 to 1910. The Gold Britannia coins feature different variations of the Britannia design, including a Standing Britannia, a Seated Britannia, and others. Designed by Philip Nathan, the Standing Britannia image commonly seen on Gold Britannias brings the story and Roman tradition of Britannia to life in the modern world. For their illustration of the majestic Britannia, the Gold Britannias are some of the most beautiful Gold coins in the world.

Gold prices fluctuate, but the popularity of the Gold Britannia bullion coins only increases. APMEX sells Gold Britannia coins in brilliant uncirculated and proof condition. APMEX makes it easy to buy Gold by offering competitive Gold prices on all Gold bullion coins. British Gold Britannia bullion coins belong in every investor’s portfolio.

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Market Recap 3/18/11

Monday began with unsettling news about a Japanese nuclear reactor rocked by a second hydrogen explosion. Unsettling news became the norm all week long as the situation continued to deteriorate. Reports coming out of Japan came under question when the U.S. requested that its citizens move 50 miles away, while the Japanese government told their citizens that 12 miles was sufficient.

Monday was the day Saudi Arabia began sending troops into Bahrain to help quell protests. Some Muslim factions in Bahrain called this an act of war. In Libya, President Gaddafi began stepping up violent attacks against rebel forces. These attacks were so violent that Western nations began to contemplate what actions they might take.

Tuesday was the day Gold showed the world how it behaves in a time of crisis. Initial losses were attributed to investors selling off their gains in precious metals to offset the losses in the global marketplace.  Most analysts accurately predicted a positive move later in the week as investors returned to the Gold’s insurance against market volatility.

On Wednesday there were reports of radiation leaks reaching Tokyo and fires burning in multiple reactors. Today, the focus was on the number three reactor. However, information coming out of Japan has not been consistent, making it difficult to assess the situation.

In other world news impacting markets, Portugal’s debt rating took another hit from Moody’s credit rating agency as it was downgraded another two notches. It is currently three notches away from “junk bond” status.

Friday’s news saw the G-7 come together to weaken the yen and stabilize its rise since the earthquake. This is the first time since 2000 that the G-7 has intervened in such a way. Western powers also came together with the U.N. to declare a no-fly zone in Libya, effectively forcing Gaddafi to call a ceasefire.  President Obama was quoted saying the U.N. resolution would be enforced. When the U.S. prepares for military action, the world turns to Gold as a safe haven.

This may be one of the most volatile markets we have seen in decades. Global equity markets have taken a hit since last Friday’s earthquake.  The Japanese Yen was expected to go down because of a cash infusion expected from the Bank of Japan, but instead, the Yen has unexpectedly climbed dramatically. One would expect gold to rally in these dire circumstances, but the need for cash largely driven by margin clerks, has kept Gold prices down. We expect that the market will remain volatile and uncertain until the nuclear reactor situation draws to a conclusion. Let’s hope it is a good conclusion.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,420.60. The high during the week was on Monday, March 14th, at $1,433.50, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, March 15th, at $1,380.70. Gold ended the week down $0.30 at $1,420.30. 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 $35.96. Silver reached a high of $36.51 on Monday, March 14th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, March 15th, at $33.57. Silver ended the week down $0.61 at $35.35. 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 $1,779.00 and ended the week down $54.50 at $1,724.50. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $762.40 and ended the week down $30.40 at $732.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Precious Metals IRA Opportunities:

Possibly the single most important financial strategy in today’s economy, an IRA, should be the insurance policy that protects your money from inflation and currency devaluation. In a world where the global economy is constantly changing and is affected by various political and social factors, you can find the insurance policy you need by investing your funds in a precious metals IRA. Rather than investing in stocks, bonds, or other forms of investments backed by paper, you can open an IRA backed by the value of precious metals. A more secure option for investment opportunities in an ever-changing world, a precious metals IRA which can never lose all of its value provides some financial security to investors.

By adding precious metals, such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, to your IRA, you can find some stability in saving your assets. To assist you in developing a precious metals IRA, APMEX offers a wide selection of products that are eligible for IRAs that can potentially enhance your investment portfolio. At APMEX, you can choose items to place in your IRA from our extensive variety of IRA-acceptable bars, coins, and rounds. To begin setting up an IRA investment plan that will hold its value for years to come, contact our Precious Metals IRA Department at (800) 418-0235. We can help walk you through the process of adding precious metals to your IRA today.

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Market Recap 3/11/11

Monday began with much of the same news as where Friday ended. Oil and Gold prices were both moving upward as fighting in Libya intensified over the weekend. Oil rose to a 29 month high and Silver surged past $36 reaching a 31 year high. Silver has been on the move for weeks and is eyeing the $38-$40 range. Also of interest today was the report that hedge funds and Forex dealers have been placing large bets in record amounts against the U.S. Dollar. Their bets say that the Dollar is losing its safe haven appeal and they believe the European banks will soon raise interest rates.

Tuesday came with the surprise announcement that Carl Icahn was returning $1.76 billion dollars to his outside hedge fund investors. In a letter to these investors Mr. Icahn said that he did not want the burden of managing this money through another downturn. On Wednesday, another story took investors by surprise. Pimco’s CEO Bill Gross announced that they were selling all U.S. Treasury Bond Holdings out of their largest fund. This is a clear indication that Mr. Gross does not feel there will be a QE3 and if the Fed quits buying Treasury Bonds, then who will? Mr. Gross stated, “Bond yields and stock prices are resting on an artificial foundation of QE2 credit that may or may not lead to a successful private market handoff and stability in currency and financial markets.” According to Tyler Durden at Zerohedge, if Bill Gross does think there will be a QE3, it might be time to get out of all security classes, which include bonds and equities.

Thursday the strong pull of the equity markets sinking dragged precious metal prices down. On Friday Dennis Gartman, of the Gartman Letter, had some interesting comments on CNBC explaining why Gold was being dragged down. He mused on the unpredictable nature of the markets. The “Day of Rage” in Saudi Arabia was expected to pressure oil prices upwards but the Japanese earthquake sent oil prices lower. In the blink of an eye, we psychologically shifted from the mind set of too little oil supply to too much oil supply. He stated that this earthquake should prove to be the most expensive natural disaster in history and we still wait to see what damage might occur on the U.S. coasts of Hawaii, California and Alaska.

His comments about Gold prices were particularly interesting. He pointed out that Gold is down, when you might suspect events like this would drive prices up. The reason for this is not fundamental, but a matter of liquidity. With the sharp downturn in the stock market yesterday, margin clerks have been overdriven by their need to come up with cash. “It is a margin clerk situation rather than a rational situation” said Mr. Gartman. This may be why precious metal prices are showing signs of bouncing back in morning trading.

The largest news of the week was the earthquake that hit Japan on Friday. The loss of life and damages incurred are still mounting. I would expect this story to be still in the news next week as the world turns their eyes and their prayers to the Japanese people.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,434.10. The high during the week was on Monday, March 7th, at $1,445.70, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, March 10th, at $1,403.00. Gold ended the week down $13.50 at $1,420.60. 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 $35.71. Silver reached a high of $36.75 on Monday, March 7th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, March 11th, at $34.05. Silver ended the week up $0.25 at $35.96. 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 $1,845.80 and ended the week down $66.80 at $1,779.00. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $814.20 and ended the week down $51.80 at $762.40. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Platinum American Eagle bullion coins.

First issued in 1997, the Platinum American Eagle Coin is the official platinum bullion coin of the United States. The Platinum American Eagle is the first and only investment-grade platinum coin from the United States Mint. Part of a precious metals portfolio backed by the United States Mint, the Platinum Eagle is unique in that it is the only platinum bullion coin guaranteed by the government for its weight, content, and .9995 purity.

Since their release, the Platinum Eagle Coins have featured the same basic design. Displaying a portrait of the Statue of Liberty, the obverse of the Platinum American Eagle pays tribute to this symbol of freedom and opportunity recognized by people all over the world. The reverse of the Platinum Eagle illustrates an eagle that signifies American pride and security. Available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz denominations, the Platinum Eagles appeal to both collectors and investors alike for the patriotic design and platinum value of the coins. Eligible for precious metals IRA accounts, Platinum American Eagles can potentially enhance any investment portfolio.

APMEX offers a wide selection of Platinum American Eagle Coins that can complement your platinum coin collection or help you set up an investment plan that will never lose all of its value.

 

Market Recap 3/4/11

It was not until Monday night, when reports that the Saudi Arabian stock market fell over 6%, that precious metal prices began to move. Concerns of a “worst case scenario” began to grow and the economic health of the region became questioned. Oil prices moved up and Gold moved along with it. By the end of Tuesday, Gold was at a record high.

In 2010, China imported 5X as much Gold as they did in 2009. On Wednesday, it was reported that they have already reached 200 metric tones this year, which is approximately 40% of their imports from last year. China’s large appetite for Gold appears to be increasing. Gold futures settled at a new record high on Wednesday.

Thursday, the stock market soared and precious metal prices retreated. Venezuela volunteered their assistance to step in and help broker a peaceful resolution in Libya. In addition, the expectation of a positive jobs report on Friday created a renewed sense of optimism. These factors, along with the announcement that the European Bank may raise interest rates, created a flight from safe haven investments.

By Friday the safe haven fight had landed and the stock market plummeted over 150 points before settling – down 88 points. Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, while speaking on CNBC this morning noted that “there is no question that the momentum of the economy, leaving out the oil price issue, leaving out the Euro problems that have emerged, and very specifically leaving out the budget problems, this economy is really beginning to pick up momentum.” Those seem to be a lot of problems to leave out.  Mr. Greenspan did go back to this issue and say in so many words, that when you factor them all in, no forecaster knows with any certainty how this will all play out.

Gold and Silver continued to add to their gains this week. Silver is trading at a 31-year high. Oil also continued to climb sparked by new violence in Libya.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,411.00. The high during the week was on Wednesday, March 2nd, at $1,441.60, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, February 28th, at $1,407.90. Gold ended the week up $23.10 at $1,434.10. 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.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $33.42. Silver reached a 31-year high of $35.73 on Friday, March 4th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, February 28th, at $33.26. Silver ended the week up $2.29 at $35.71. 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 $1,808.90 and ended the week up $36.90 at $1,845.80. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $792.90 and ended the week up $21.30 at $814.20. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins.

The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, the official Silver bullion coin of Canada, has become one of the most popular Silver coins sought after by investors and collectors worldwide. Since first being minted by the Royal Canadian Mint in 1988, the design of the Silver Maple Leaf has undergone annual changes that include proof releases, various privy marks, holographic enhancements, and commemorative variations. However, the basic features of the Silver coin have remained the same since its inception. The obverse of the coin depicts the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, and the reverse of the coin showcases the signature Maple Leaf so closely associated with Canadian nationalism and reflective of Canadian pride.

What sets this Silver gem apart from its Gold, Platinum and Palladium counterparts is the fact that the consumer demand for the Silver Maple Leaf has caused the prices for the coin to skyrocket past the actual bullion value of the coin. For example, while the face value of the Silver Maple Leaf is five Canadian dollars, the highest face value among international Silver bullion coins, the coin has generated prices that far outweigh its actual face value. In addition to its high value, the Silver Maple Leaf is unique in that it is one of the purest Silver bullion coins on the market. With a 99.99 percent purity, the Silver coin ranks among the purest Silver bullion coins ever produced.

For its numerous positive qualities, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a treasure that could potentially enhance any coin collection or investment portfolio. Because of its high value, purity level, and clear symbolism of Canadian culture, the Silver Maple Leaf is a coin that has developed a high international profile and will most likely continue to play a major role in the world coin markets.

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Market Recap 2/25/11

Monday began with Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi declaring war on his own people. He made it clear that he intended to fight and win or die a martyr. All through the week oil prices began to rise, at one point topping $100 per barrel. Libya and the entire Middle East is a literal powder keg. This region will continue to capture world attention. All week long, we were exposed to tragic and appalling photos of violence in the streets.

It was also reported that home prices fell for the sixth month in a row in December. There is more and more concern about a double dip housing recession. Most experts agree that jobs will not recover until the housing market begins to recover.

Is it possible you have not heard about the battle in Wisconsin between the newly appointed governor and the teachers union? The problem is public pension funds in general with Wisconsin simply drawing attention to a problem so many states now must confront. They have huge public pension fund obligations and no money to pay.

On Thursday and Friday the stock market began to recover after three days of sharp drops. Gold and silver prices retreated on profit taking. Platinum and palladium, which had dropped along with the stock market, began to recover as well.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,390.90. The high during the week was on Thursday, February 24th, at $1,418.80, while the low for the week tied on Monday and Tuesday, February 21st and 22nd, at $1,390.10. Gold ended the week up $20.10 at $1,411.00. 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 $32.75. Silver reached a high of $34.38 on Monday, February 21st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, February 25th, at $32.06. Silver ended the week up $0.67 at $33.42. 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 $1,840.40 and ended the week down $31.50 at $1,808.90. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $854.60 and ended the week down $61.70 at $792.90. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Silver Britannia.

Following the success of the Gold Britannia bullion coins introduced in 1987, the Royal Mint produced a one-ounce Silver Britannia coin in 1997, with the 1997 Silver Britannias being issued only as proofs with a mintage of 20,000. Since their inception, the Silver Britannia coins have continued to increase in popularity for both their patriotic design and silver content.

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. Although special designs and variations have appeared on several issues of the Silver Britannia coins, 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.

In addition to attracting attention for their lovely design, 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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Market Recap 2/18/11

This week began with the budget battle. President Obama came out with his $3.7 trillion dollar budget. He pledged to cut $1.1 trillion in spending over the next ten years. Isn’t it odd how politicians propose big spending cuts long after they are out of office, when they no longer have to actually implement them? The budget squabbling between the two parties continues, as they battle over how to reduce spending. Of course, they both focus on 12% of total spending and avoid issues like social security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs that make up 88% of the total spending.

Precious metal prices drifted up during the week largely on renewed fears about inflation. In the US, Representative Paul Ryan called on the Fed to take pre-emptive measures now to avoid inflation in the future. On Wednesday, the Producer Price Index came out at 9.6% annualized. The Core Producer Price Index was up an alarming 6% annualized. On Thursday, the CPI, Consumer Price Index came out and as expected it continues to go up. These both spell inflation down the road, if the trend is not reversed.

The Middle East remained in the news all week as violent protests spread from country to country. Three people were reported killed in Bahrain and clashes spread to Libya, Yemen, Iran and Iraq as well. Iranian warships were reported to be crossing the Suez Canal heading for the Mediterranean Sea. As you might imagine, this does not sit well with Israel.

Gold, platinum and palladium all showed good increases for the week, but silver was the shining star. It could very well finish the week up over 7%. Silver is now past its 30-year high. Depending on which analyst you read, silver is either set to continue to rise rapidly or drops like a rock. We do not pretend to know. But we can say this, the silver price to gold price ratio is in the low 40’s and it is usually in the high 50’s. Either silver should go down or gold should go up. Of course, silver could continue to go up and gold goes up faster, closing this gap.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,357.20. The high during the week was on Friday, February 18th, at $1,392.60, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, February 14th, at $1,354.40. Gold ended the week up $33.70 at $1,390.90. 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 $29.93. Silver reached a high of $32.92 on Friday, February 18th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, February 14th, at $29.79. Silver ended the week up $2.82 at $32.75. 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 $1,804.00 and ended the week up $36.40 at $1,840.40. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $815.70 and ended the week up $38.90 at $854.60. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the Gold American Eagle bullion coins.

Beginning on January 3, 2011, the 2011 Gold American Eagle Coins became available to the United States Mint’s authorized purchasers. An official gold bullion coin of the United States, the Gold Eagle Coin has become one of the most popular coins on the world market. Since its release by the United States Mint in 1986, the Gold Eagle has featured the same basic design. Displaying a design created by Augustus Saint Gaudens, the obverse of the Gold American Eagle depicts the figure of Lady Liberty, who holds a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand. In the background is a rendition of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The reverse of the Gold Eagle illustrates a nest of American eagles. A symbol of American nationalism and pride, the eagle is pictured carrying an olive branch and hovering over the nest.

Available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz denominations, the 2011 Gold American Eagle appeals to both collectors and investors alike. In addition to its beautiful design, the Gold Eagle is also a gold gem for its value. Containing 91.67% pure gold, the 22-karat Gold American Eagle Coins have a market value that usually equals the market value of their gold content. Moreover, the 2011 Gold American Eagles are eligible for precious metals IRA accounts and can potentially enhance any coin collection or investment portfolio. Having gained international popularity since its debut, the Gold American Eagle is a coin that will most likely continue to attract attention from coin collectors all over the world.

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