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 2/11/11

Our first story this week was the disclosure that the NASDAQ had been hacked. Yet another blow to investor confidence at a time they thought it might be safe to go back into the water. The Egyptian crisis stayed top of mind, but no headlines had been made this week…yet.

On Tuesday, inflation concerns began to surface. China raised interest rates for the second time in six weeks, which normally suppresses precious metal prices. Today, however, it had an opposite effect as it triggered fears that inflation might not be far behind in other emerging markets as well as the US. Representative Paul Ryan further fanned the inflation fears while appearing on CNBC. He is upset with the Federal Reserve Bank for missing their opportunity to curb future inflation, by not taking appropriate measures now. Precious metal prices surged on the day.

JP Morgan announced this week that they would begin allowing gold as collateral for trading. This should not only give gold prices a boost, it would also set a floor for spot gold. Silver once again crossed the $30 barrier, perhaps on the news that China had imported 4X more silver in 2010 as they did in 2009.

All week long, the continued turmoil in Egypt grabbed worldwide attention. Last week’s violence was settling down, but not gone. Things looked to be calming down. The markets clearly had decided that everything would turn out alright. On Thursday, it was reported that Mubarak would step down, but then later he announced he would not. The markets continued to discount this event. Then on Friday, President Mubarak did step down turning the government over to the military. Stocks rejoiced and precious metals went down. Everything is fine in Egypt! Or is it? Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies points out “Egypt isn’t moving toward a democracy, it’s moved into martial law and where it goes now is subject to debate”. In other words, this is only the end of the beginning. Now the action really starts.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,349.60. The high during the week was on Friday, February 11th, at $1,369.70, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, February 7th, at $1,344.10. Gold ended the week up $7.60 at $1,357.20. 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 $29.18. Silver reached a high of $30.29 on Friday, February 11th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, February 11th, at $29.01. Silver ended the week up $0.75 at $29.93. 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 $1,848.20 and ended the week down $44.20 at $1,804.00. 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 $817.00 and ended the week down $1.30 at $815.70. 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 Austrian 100 Corona Coins.

Because of the history behind them, the Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coins are some of the most interesting coins in the world. 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 re-strikes, 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. However, after the death of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, the gold coins were 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, 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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Market Recap 2/4/11

Monday began with the news of rioting in Egypt and this news story continued to dominate throughout the week. At first, demonstrations were forceful, but without violence. Protestors and news reporters could walk about Cairo’s Tahrir Square without fear of attack. This all changed Wednesday, when supporters of President Mubarak (widely believed to be paid thugs), systematically infiltrated the square and injected violence into the equation. Even news reporters came under attack causing them to go into hiding and broadcast from hidden locations. Thursday evening, there were no live broadcasts from Tahrir Square.

On Monday, President Obama began to walk the tightrope between the US need for Egyptian support in the Middle East and President’s Mubarak dictatorial regime that is clearly contrary to US values. Staying as far away as possible from asking President Mubarak to step down, President Obama expressed concerns as to how President Mubarak treated his people. By Friday, The US became much more open about the need for a transition. Although still not publically calling for President Mubarak to step down, there is much speculation this has in fact occurred behind the scenes. The US has clearly called for a transition of power and this transition needs to happen soon.

One would think that the Egyptian crisis would have driven precious metal prices up sharply, but it did not. It was as if the market was ignoring the news. Stocks went up, oil went up, but precious metal prices languished. Then on Thursday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke came out saying that although the economy is showing signs of improvement, it is still needs life support from the Fed QE2 program. He further stated that, “There will not be full recovery until there is job creation”. Within 20 minutes precious metal prices rose significantly to where they are now. By the way, Friday’s job report was very disappointing, but the stock market can still depend on the Fed. We are still kicking the can down the road, and there will be a price to be paid.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,339.60. The high during the week was on Friday, February 4th, at $1,361.00, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, January 31st, at $1,323.60. Gold ended the week up $10.00 at $1,349.60. 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 $28.03. Silver reached a high of $29.29 on Friday, February 4th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, January 31st, at $27.52. Silver ended the week up $1.15 at $29.18. 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 $1,797.20 and ended the week up $51.00 at $1,848.20. 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 $818.00 and ended the week down $1.00 at $817.00. 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 “Year of the Rabbit” Silver Lunar coins from the Perth Mint.

The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, has become a much-celebrated event not only in China, but also 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 that includes red decorations, gifts (Gold is a favorite), food, clothing, and corporate family preparations for luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.

This 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 emblem of longevity in Chinese mythology, the Rabbit 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 that commemorate this annual event in the Chinese calendar. First, 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, whose stories indicate that the twelve animals in the calendar have a 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.

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Market Recap 1/21/11

Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington was the story of the week. Although expectations were not high as to any big policy announcements, it represents the continued efforts by both countries to improve relationships. Of course, the US wants China to allow the Yuan to appreciate relative to other global currencies, while China is comfortable with the status quo.

On Tuesday, all precious metal prices received a boost when higher than expected inflation data was reported from the UK. US debt concerns surfaced again when Neel Kashkari, former head of the $700 billion TARP program said, “our debt is starting to get away from us.” Global and domestic confidence in US Treasuries could fall dramatically if the Fed keeps printing money to buy bonds.

Precious metal prices are up for the third day in a row as a result of a weak dollar and increased demand out of Asia. Platinum hit a 30-month high and Palladium continues to go up as well. These two metals have important industrial applications and therefore they are rising on the improving economics.

After three days of moving up, profit takers moved in and precious metal prices retreated. There were no major news stories other than the daily cycles where traders move in and out. Investors with a long term view stepped in and bought on the dips. Platinum rebounded quickly especially on the announcement that China imported 40% more platinum in 2010 than they did in 2009.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,362.90. The high during the week was on Wednesday, January 19th, at $1,378.90, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, January 21st, at $1,337.00. Gold ended the week down $19.50 at $1,343.40. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, 2010 1/4 oz. Gold American Eagles and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $28.51. Silver reached a high of $29.49 on Wednesday, January 19th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, January 21st, at $27.08. Silver ended the week down $0.95 at $27.56. 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 1 oz. Sunshine Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,816.00 and ended the week up $13.70 at $1,829.70. 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 $798.90 and ended the week up $24.50 at $823.40. 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 2011 Gold and Silver Chinese Panda coins.

APMEX is excited to announce our new allotment of 2011 Chinese Pandas. The 2011 Panda coins are the latest installment in one of the world’s most popular series of coins. Like the Chinese Pandas before, the 2011 obverses show the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. These Chinese Pandas continue their tradition and have a brand-new reverse design featuring a Panda and her cub in a field of bamboo. Being as no two years are alike, the Chinese Panda coins are highly collectible.

The 2011 Chinese Pandas are available in both gold and silver. The Silver Chinese Panda is available in a 1 oz. coin, while the Gold Chinese Panda is available in 1 oz., ½ oz., ¼ oz., 1/10 oz., and 1/20 oz. sizes. The Gold and Silver Chinese Pandas are admired for their value and striking beauty. Be one of the first to get these gems from the Far East!

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Market Recap 1/7/11

The week began with a bang for precious metals. Over the weekend Gold was within 1% of its all time high, while Silver and Palladium hit multi-year peaks. The sharp upswing resulted in pent up demand as well as the same old concerns about the Euro debt crisis, inflation and the US deficit. During the day, metal prices declined marginally as the stock market boomed on the first day of the trading year. There was no particular upbeat economic news, so this appeared to be simply an enthusiastic greeting to the New Year.

During the early part of the week, there continued to be a groundswell for the equity markets. Investors were whetting their appetite for risks and moving from safe haven investments like precious metals and bonds. Oddly enough, the groundswell never materialized into anything substantial, as the taste for risk abated. I say oddly because on Wednesday, the ADP jobs report came out reporting a 297,000 increase. The investment community was shocked, but they were not necessarily believers.

The US Dollar strengthened against the Euro throughout the week. Pundit after pundit projected a very robust year for equities and yet, the market settled back from Monday’s short-term gains. One would expect that the precious metal prices would be see downward pressure, but instead, only declined incrementally.

All week, the news cycle pressured precious metals to go down. On Friday, there were high expectations the Labor Department’s Nonfarm Jobs Report would support the ADP report on Wednesday and stocks were set to fly. Precious metals poised for a beating, but the report came out with disappointing results and stocks went down while precious metals began to climb back up again.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,406.50. The high during the week was on Monday, January 3rd, at $1,424.40, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, January 7th, at $1,352.70. Gold ended the week down $35.80 at $1,370.70. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 1/10 oz. Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, 1 gm APMEX Gold Bars and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $30.61. Silver reached a high of $31.28 on Monday, January 3rd, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, January 7th, at $28.33. Silver ended the week down $1.87 at $28.74. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2010 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, and 1 oz. Walking Liberty Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,749.00 and ended the week down $12.20 at $1,736.80. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $790.40 and ended the week down $36.00 at $754.40. 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 1 oz. Gold Panda Bullion Coin.

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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Market Recap 12/23/10

APMEX will be closed for the Holidays from December 24-26, 2010. We will resume our normal business hours on December 27th.

This week can be summarized by saying that precious metal prices are relatively unchanged. Trading has been in tight ranges with low volumes. As expected, when large gains were made in Gold during the year, institutions and hedge funds sell to actualize profits and square up positions. We expect to see this same pattern continue throughout 2010. The big question is what will happen in 2011 and is there a buying opportunity now?

There were several significant news events this week. The IMF release a statement on Tuesday night saying they have completed a large program of Gold sales (reportedly 403.3 tonnes), thus removing one of the few bearish elements restraining the Gold bullion market.

North and South Korean tensions have made news several times this week. South Korea is planning military exercises that have North Korea warning of “sacred war” and South Korea vowing a “merciless counterattack.” Although these verbal threats seem to appear often, the potential for actual violence should not be dismissed.

Palladium prices have soared in the last quarter on increased industrial demand along with supply side concerns. There have been reports for some time now that Russian stock piles will run out in 2011. Norilsk, the world’s biggest producer of nickel, reinforced this supply concern on Wednesday. They see Russia having insignificant amounts of Palladium in 2011 and none in 2012.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,376.60. The high during the week was on Tuesday, December 21st, at $1,393.00, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, December 23rd, at $1,372.60. Gold ended the week up $3.00 at $1,379.60. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2010 1 oz. Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs and 1 gram Sunshine Minting Gold Bars.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $29.23. Silver reached a high of $29.61 on Tuesday, December 21st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, December 20th, at $28.81. Silver ended the week up $0.07 at $29.30. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2010 Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,698.30 and ended the week up $22.30 at $1,720.60. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles and 1/2 oz. Platinum American Eagles continue their popularity with investors.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $740.60 and ended the week up $17.10 at $757.70. 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 1922 – 1925 Peace Silver Dollars.

The Peace Silver Dollar is a manifestation of American sentiments in the 1920s. The world had just survived the biggest war in history and the United States wanted to commemorate this momentous victory. In order to share this celebration with all, the United States Mint produced the Peace Silver Dollar to be used in circulation by all Americans.

Due to legislation, the U.S. Mint was not required to produce a Silver dollar coin for public circulation. That all changed with the passage of the Pittman Act in 1918. Now the question became, what should our new coin represent? The answer was the “Roaring Twenties.” The Peace Dollar became a symbol of American wealth and prosperity in a time when many were affluent.

In our current economic times, we have once again discovered the value of a “dollar.” Get your own slice of American prosperity today with 1922 – 1925 Peace Silver Dollars available at APMEX.com.

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Market Recap 12/17/10

This week began on a high note, when Chinese authorities decided not to raise interest rates over the weekend. Gold rose past the “psychological” $1,400 barrier, but when the Federal Reserve decision came out that they would maintain their current level of bond buying, prices began to retreat.

Moody’s debt rating service added to the action this week. On Monday, they indicated they were looking at Spain for a possible reduction in credit rating. On Thursday, they put Greece on their radar screen. Then on Friday, Moody’s slashed Ireland’s credit rating by five notches. For those unfamiliar with such actions, this is a significant reduction.

Once Gold prices began to level off and bounce up to the $1,378 range, trading stabilized. Although we should not be surprised to see downward pressure on prices towards year’s end, as positions are rebalanced and paper profits get actualized, we would be cautious about considering this a trend. The same large funds selling to actualize paper profits might just be the first to jump back in January 3rd! This respite in pricing may be a great buying opportunity!

Gold tends to go up when bad things happen. If the European debt crisis begins to snowball, if any geopolitical fires flare, and if inflation ignites in the U.S., Gold prices are likely to increase significantly. Every investor should purchase Gold just like an insurance policy. You hope you never have to use it, but it is there if you need it.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,385.50. The high during the week was on Tuesday, December 14th, at $1,408.90, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, December 16th, at $1,361.60. Gold ended the week down $8.90 at $1,376.60. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2010 1 oz. Gold American Eagles, 2010 1/10 oz. Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs and 1 gram Sunshine Minting Gold Bars.

Silver:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $28.70. Silver reached a high of $29.99 on Tuesday, December 14th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Thursday, December 16th, at $28.35. Silver ended the week up $0.53 at $29.23. The most popular Silver products on APMEX.com this week were 2010 Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,684.00 and ended the week up $14.30 at $1,698.30. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles and 1/2 oz. Platinum American Eagles were popular this week with investors.

Palladium:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $733.30 and ended the week up $7.30 at $740.60. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs remain very popular.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will review the 2005 1 oz. Silver American Eagle.

The United States Mint began minting the Silver American Eagle (SAE) in 1986. The 25 years of mintage have produced over 225 million silver bullion coins. Since 2000, demand for these coins has exploded. With the third-lowest mintage this decade, the 2005 1 oz. Silver American Eagle is a hidden gem at investment prices.

These 2005 coins trade at premiums consistent with common-date Silver American Eagles which makes their lower population a bonus of sorts. The 2005 1 oz. Silver American Eagle is a brilliant uncirculated coin that can be bought in bulk and used in Precious Metals IRAs while potentially adding numismatic value to your investment.

Silver American Eagle bullion coins belong in every precious metal investor’s portfolio.

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