Market Recap 5/27/11

The European Union’s debilitating plague of a debt crisis continues to dominate news headlines this week. Italy was downgraded from an A+ to an A-, and while seemingly insignificant, this goes to show even further decay of Europe’s financial situation. As well as the fact that analysts at UniCredit downgraded the insurance sector and the basic-resources sector in Europe to neutral from overweight today, and the industrial goods and services to underweight from neutral. Last weekend, local elections in Spain rejected any move towards austerity measures. This week, the Greek public did the same. This week’s election result in upstate New York are an indication the U.S. may not be ready to experience the pain of cut-backs either.

China is rapidly closing in on India, as the world’s largest consumer of Gold. Although China is one of the leading producers of Gold, they cannot produce near enough to satisfy their appetite. Gold production should reach 400 tonnes by 2014 with a gain of 19%, but still the demand will be for 700 tonnes. In the first quarter of 2011, China bought more Gold than the combined totals of the developed Western Nations. Demand in France, Germany and Switzerland increased triple-digits, yet China outpaced them all put together. Despite this strong rise in per capita consumption, an analyst from Standard Chartered Bank said that there is still much room to grow, “In terms of Gold consumption per capita, there is no doubt that [China and India] have a lot of catch-up potential and the impact on Gold prices could be dramatic.”

The financial instability in the euro zone gave some stabilizing strength to the U.S. Dollar this week but the end result did little to curb people’s appetite for Gold. Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago, says, “People see the whipsaw in the currencies market and they want to buy Gold and call it a day.” Most analysts would attribute this to Gold being historically less volatile. Gold is viewed as a means to protect wealth through portfolio diversification and asset allocation.

The U.S. GNP report was released this week and the U.S. economy grew less than expected in the 1st quarter…up only 1.8%. The weekly jobs report again indicated a surprising move upward.

As the week ends, international markets are focused on Greece while our thoughts are on the demise of the QE2 program. The U.S. Dollar Index was down almost 0.9% at mid-day today. Some analysts question if we will be heading toward a double dip recession. “…[W]e continue to expect a disappointing bounce back to just 3% growth in the second half of the year. The slow-down feels very similar to last year’s soft patch,” according to economist Ethan Harris. Will the fragile U.S. economy be able to make a significant move upward in the next 3-5 years?

GOLD PRICES:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,515.10. The high during the week was on Friday, May 27th, at $1,539.50, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, May 23rd, at $1,503.70. Gold ended the week up $23.00 at $1,538.10. 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 PRICES:
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $35.17. Silver reached a high of $38.85 on Thursday, May 26th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, May 23rd, at $34.34. Silver ended the week up up $2.95 at $38.12. 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 PRICES:
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,774.90 and ended the week up $31.20 at $1,806.10. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

PALLADIUM PRICES:
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $739.60 and ended the week up $24.90 at $764.50. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

APMEX Product of the Week: 40% Silver Coin Bags

Today, a popular and convenient way of investing in precious metals is purchasing bags of U.S. Silver coins containing 40% Silver. As the price of Silver began to increase in the 1960s, the U.S. Government began seeking a more cost-effective alternative to the minting of 90% Silver content coins. In honor of the assassinated President Kennedy, the U.S. Mint began minting half-dollars depicting Kennedy that were 40% Silver instead of 90%. The Kennedy half-dollars consisted of an inner layer containing 79% copper and 21% Silver. This inner layer was clad by an outer layer of 20% copper and 80% Silver. Thus, rather than containing 90% Silver, the Kennedy halves contained a total of 40% Silver and 60% copper.

These 40% Silver Kennedy half-dollars were the last regularly-circulated coins from the U.S. Mint that still contained Silver. Extremely popular among Americans interested in collecting a memento of President Kennedy, the coins quickly disappeared from circulation after their release. Even after the U.S. Mint increased the production of the coins, the Kennedy half-dollar still remained more of a collector’s item than a widely-circulated coin. While the Kennedy halves are still available from the U.S. Mint, the coins continue to have a limited circulation and primarily meet the demands of collectors.

For investors, $1,000 and $500 face value bags of 40% Silver Kennedy halves minted between 1965 and 1969 are convenient and easy ways to own Silver. Not only are 40% Silver coins legal tender that will never lose their face value, but they are also Silver coins that do not have the high premiums associated with one-ounce Silver bullion coins, such as the Silver American Eagle coins. Unlike many other methods of investing in precious metals, buying 40% Silver bags is extremely versatile. Investors who buy Silver bags can trade the bags in units or sell and trade the coins individually.

If you are looking to purchase Silver in the most cost-efficient way, the 40% Silver coins from APMEX are a great option. APMEX makes it easy to buy Silver by offering competitive Silver prices on all Silver products.

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 4/15/11

This week was one of significant gains for both Gold and Silver prices. However, on Monday it was only Silver going up as Gold retreated on the news that a budget deal had been struck and that Libyan President Gaddafi was going to accept a peace plan brokered by the African Union. Of course, President Gaddafi made it clear he would not step down, which killed this proposal by the next day.

On Tuesday, Japan raised its nuclear crisis to the highest possible level, which is level seven. This puts this radioactive disaster on par with what occurred in Chernobyl back in 1986. The Japanese government, already under scrutiny for what appears to be a campaign of miscommunication tried to make the world feel better by letting us know, that there has been no real change, it has been level 7 the whole time. The government further states that although there is radioactive contamination in the air, water, soil, fish and vegetables, there are no immediate health risks. Comforting indeed!

Wednesday, Gold and Silver began to drift up as President Obama came out with his budget-cutting plan that chops $4 trillion off in the next 12 years. Apparently, many investors felt the need for a safe haven after seeing the details (or lack thereof). An interesting article written by Julian Phillips gave his view on why Silver has been rising faster than Gold. In a nutshell, Gold has been seen as an investment metal by high net worth individuals, central banks and institutions for a very long time. Silver did not take on this aspect until 2009. As Silver becomes the poor man’s Gold and as Silver gets the attention of high net worth individuals and institutions, it is starting to catch up in appeal.

Thursday’s jobs report was an unexpected negative surprise. New jobless claims rose last week rising once again above the 400,000 level. Economist polled by Reuters projected claims to fall to 380,000. The four week moving average, which is considered the best measurement, went up 5,500 to 395,750. Inflation fears grow as US core prices rose faster than projected in March, and the increase from one year ago was the largest since August of 2009. By the end of the day, Gold advanced more than 1% as it nears record highs. Fear of inflation, a weakening US dollar and more problems in Europe continue to drive investors to Gold (and perhaps Silver, which established a31-year high today.)

Friday’s news was that in the US, consumer prices rose 0.5% in March, which is 6% annualized. Also, a separate report shows that real average hourly earnings of US workers fell by .6% in March, and have declined 1.0% in the past 12 months. On the European front, Moody’s has again cut Ireland’s debt rating, which puts it on the verge of becoming junk status. Moody’s is keeping their view of this situation negative, thus pushing the Euro lower and putting added pressure on the Euro Zone’s weaker countries.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,476.40. The high during the week was on Friday, April 15th, at $1,489.80, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, April 12th, at $1,445.00. Gold ended the week up $11.70 at $1,488.10. 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 $41.00. Silver reached a high of $43.12 on Friday, April 15th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, April 12th, at $39.71. Silver ended the week up $2.12 at $43.12. 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 $1,816.50 and ended the week down $22.50 at $1,794.00. 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 $769.50 and ended the week up $1.50 at $771.00. 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 1 oz. Platinum Australian Platypus.

On March 1, 2011, the Perth Mint in Australia unveiled a new Platinum investment coin: the Australian Platinum Platypus coin. The Australian Platinum Platypus coin is the latest addition to the Perth Mint’s Australian Bullion Coin Program. Until the release of the Platinum Platypus coin, the Perth Mint had not minted a Platinum investment coin since the Australian Platinum Koala coin. With the discontinuation of the Platinum Koala in 2000, the Platypus coin will pick up where the Koala left off in the Perth Mint’s series of investment coins.

Legal Australian tender under the Australian Currency Act of 1965, the Australian Platinum Platypus is struck from one ounce of 99.95% pure Platinum and has a face value of 100 Australian Dollars. For 2011, the Platinum Platypus coins have a limited mintage of 30,000 and will continue to have the same limited mintage for future years of issue.

Released by the Perth Mint, a world leader in the production of precious metals products, the Platinum Platypus coin features a captivating design. The obverse of the Australian Platinum Platypus coin depicts an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. Additionally, the reverse features one of the most unique creatures inhabiting the Australian Continent: the Platypus. Showcasing this interesting member of the animal kingdom, the Platinum Platypus coin celebrates the wonder of Australian wildlife. Illustrated in its underwater home, this semi-aquatic mammal comes to life on the coin. Created by Perth Mint designer Natasha Muhl, the image of the Platypus gives the newly-released Platinum coin an appeal that is sure to attract collectors and investors all over the world.

The Australian Platinum Platypus coins are a great way to acquire and invest in Platinum. To add these beautiful coins to your coin collection or investment portfolio, shop APMEX’s selection of Australian Platinum Platypus coins. APMEX makes it easy to buy Platinum by offering competitive Platinum prices on all Platinum coins.

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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 2/18/11

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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Market Recap 11/12/10

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down more than 90 points, as the market reacted to the threat of rising interest rates in China. Investors locked-in their profits and all the major indexes fell accordingly. The Canadian market faced a similar downward situation, also due to China fears.

US Consumers gained confidence in the economy for the first time in three months. The Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment rose to 69.3, still lower than the 5-year average of 88.9, which ended in December of 2007, when this current recessionary period began. Retailers hope that this consumer sentiment holds as we head into the holiday buying season.

Precious metal prices had a roller-coaster of a week! Gold started this week at the $1,394.00 level, peaked at an all-time high on Tuesday of $1,424.60, and then ended the week just under $1,370.00. Silver shared a similar fate also peaking at a 30-year high on Tuesday of $29.35 per Troy Ounce. Obviously, some short-term investors locked-in some of their profits. Many long-term investors see the current weakness only as a strong buying opportunity.    

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,394.90. The high during the week was on Tuesday, November 9th, at $1,424.60, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, November 12th, at $1,359.30. Gold ended the week down $25.10 at $1,369.80. 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 $26.79. Silver reached a high of $29.35 on Tuesday, November 9th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Friday, November 12th, at $25.76. Silver ended the week down $0.72 at $26.07. 2010 Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds remain popular silver investments.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,768.60 and ended the week down $84.60 at $1,684.00. Popular platinum products online this week were, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles and 1/2 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $688.90 and ended the week down $7.90 at $681.00. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs remain very popular, but in short supply.

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

The Silver Philharmonic, Europe’s leading bullion coin, was created by the Austrian Mint. The Silver Austrian Philharmonic in the same design as the classic gold bullion coin. The obverse depicts the great organ in the Golden Hall in Vienna’s concert hall of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. A grouping of musical instruments representing the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, can be seen on the reverse of the coin.

The face value of the coin is in Euros, and the weight, alloy purity and year of issue are also inscribed on this side of the coin.  These beautiful silver coins were first minted in 2008, from .999 fine silver.

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