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.
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.
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.
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.
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.