Market Recap 4/8/11

The week started with Silver reaching a fresh 31-year high, over $38/oz. Who knew it would be a sign of things to come? The theme with precious metals this week was new highs. Silver hit first on Monday, thanks in part to the looming U.S. government shutdown, inflation fears (oil rose over $108), a weakening U.S. dollar, and the geopolitical situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

APMEX CEO Michael Haynes appeared on CNBC to talk about the importance of precious metals in your portfolio. He was also introducing our new mobile platform, mobile.apmex.com, which is available on your Android-powered smartphone, Blackberry, or iPhone. China raised their interest rates Tuesday in another effort to combat inflation, something the European Central Bank echoed later in the week. Ben Bernanke continued to downplay inflation, which seemed to increase inflation fears. Radioactive fish were discovered near the Japanese nuclear power plant that continues to have issues, creating fears of radioactive food imports in other countries. These issues drove Gold to a record high (over $1,450/oz.) and Silver to a new 31-year high (over $39/oz.) early in the week.

Matthew West of CNBC pieced together a great article on Gold, explaining the bullish sentiment towards precious metals, as well as why Gold as a hedge is here to stay. The radioactive water leak in Japan was plugged Wednesday, but many tons of contaminated water was being pumped back into the ocean due to a lack of storage space at the facility. The conflict in Libya hit a bump as the Libyan rebels were unhappy with NATO support. There were also possible mistakes made by NATO strikes that hit rebels instead of Moammar Gaddafi’s forces. Gold and Silver closed at new highs yet again, with Gold crossing the $1,460/oz. mark and Silver inching closer to $40/oz. by midweek.

After Moody’s downgraded Portugal’s debt rating Wednesday, reports surfaced that against their best efforts, they will end up requesting a bailout before June. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to investors, as seen by precious metals hardly reacting to the news. The ECB officially raised interest rates by 25 basis points, acting as fresh fuel to the fire of inflation fears. A 7.4-magnitude aftershock rocked Japan, hampering production across the country thanks to power outages. On Thursday, Gold closed lower than Wednesday, however it did hit an intraday record high at $1,466.50. Silver closed at a fresh 31-year high as well.

Friday started with news that Euro-zone finance ministers will hold Portugal to a harder reform to receive a bailout. The U.S. government shutdown deadline is here, and there seems to be no hope in sight to avoid it. Some 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed. The impending shutdown seems to have investors flocking to the safe haven appeal of precious metals, as Gold and Silver were already at new highs in early morning trading. Gold topped $1,470/oz., while Silver strongly broke through the $40/oz. ceiling.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,429.20. The high during the week was on Friday, April 8th, at $1,476.40, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, April 4th, at $1,429.10. Gold ended the week up $47.20 at $1,476.40. 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 $37.91. Silver reached a high of $41.03 on Friday, April 8th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Monday, April 4th, at $37.81. Silver ended the week up $3.09 at $41.00. 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 $1,768.50 and ended the week up $48.00 at $1,816.50. 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 $775.50 and ended the week up $21.00 at $769.50. 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 Austrian Silver Philharmonic bullion coins.

One of the most beautiful Silver coins on the market, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic has begun to attract attention from collectors and investors all over the world. Minted by the Austrian Mint in Vienna, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins are .999 pure Silver and are the first Silver bullion coins denominated in Euros. While the Austrian Silver Philharmonics are Silver bullion coins that can serve as investment opportunities, they are also striking additions to any coin collection.

The Silver Austrian Philharmonic coin features the same design as the Gold Vienna Philharmonic, Europe’s leading Gold bullion coin. Like the Gold Philharmonic, the Silver Philharmonic pays tribute to one of Vienna’s most iconic symbols: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Housed in Vienna’s Golden Hall, the Philharmonic Orchestra is considered one of the finest orchestras in the world. In honor of this prestigious orchestra, the Philharmonic coin’s design features a theme based on Vienna’s musical heritage. The obverse of the Silver Philharmonic coin displays the Great Pipe Organ in Vienna’s Golden Hall. The reverse depicts a medley of selected instruments from the world-famous orchestra. Through these designs, the Silver Philharmonic allows you to commemorate the mastery of classical music in Vienna.

If you are looking to purchase the stunning Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins, shop APMEX’s wide selection of Silver Philharmonics. 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 7/16/10

Federal Reserve officials downgraded their outlook for the economy and said additional central-bank action could be necessary if the economic outlook “were to worsen appreciably,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Overall, officials said it could take as long as five or six years before the economy returns to a sustainable path of moderate growth and unemployment settles at the 5% level where it rested before the recession began in 2007.

The euro reached a new two-month high against a weaker dollar on Friday as rising European money market rates continued to underpin the currency, reported Reuters. The dollar fell to a seven-month low against the Japanese Yen when a report showing that U.S. consumer sentiment weakened in early July to its lowest in 11 months.

The spot price of gold consolidated Friday as day traders and market speculators were taking profits and reacting to immediate market news about higher than expected Consumer Price Index numbers. This short-term pullback afforded precious metal investors a great opportunity to purchase gold, silver, platinum and palladium at lower price levels before the next rally. According to MarketWatch, “A settlement around $1,190 would be gold’s lowest since mid-May and bring the metal close to the bottom of its recent trading range.”

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,212.60. The high during the week was on Tuesday, July 13th, at $1,218.80, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, July 16th, at $1,185.80. Gold ended the week down $19.40 at $1,193.20. The highest-selling gold items this week were Gold American Eagles, Gold Buffalo Coins and 1 gram Pamp Suisse Gold Bars.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $18.17. Silver reached a high of $18.54 on Thursday, July 15th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Friday, July 16th, at $17.73. Silver ended the week down $0.30 at $17.87. The most popular silver products on APMEX.com this week were Silver American Eagles, Silver Canadian Maple Leafs and 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,533.20 and ended the week down $23.70 at $1,509.50. Platinum investors concentrated their purchases on 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, Platinum Australian Koalas and Platinum American Eagles this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $462.00 and ended the week down $10.40 at $451.60. 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs were the most popular palladium products this week on APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX shines a spotlight on a different bullion product to educate our readers. The featured product this week is the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin.

As the second oldest gold bullion coin in terms of market longevity, the Canadian Maple Leaf became the alternative to the South African Krugerrand. This was particularly important at that time as South Africa had apartheid considerations that troubled some investors. The Royal Canadian Mint began striking these coins in 1979 and that minting continues through today. These artistic coins are struck in beautiful 24-karat pure gold and each weighs 1 Troy ounce.

On the obverse, or front, of these coins is a depiction of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth the Second. The reverse, or back, of this coin depicts the national symbol of Canada – the Maple Leaf. These stunning coins are backed by the Royal Canadian Mint for their purity, content and fineness.

APMEX offers a superb selection of Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins in a variety of dates, sizes and special designs as produced by the Mint. One ounce coins purchased in quantities of 25 or more will be delivered in special tubes and quantities of 500 or more coins are shipped in the special Royal Canadian Mint boxes.

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Market Recap 7/09/10

The U.S. economy may sleepwalk through the next year, avoiding another recession, but it is struggling to find a growth source strong enough to drive a robust recovery, reported Reuters. Dismal economic data and the ominous possibility of a double-dip recession are at the top of Wall Street’s talking points. However, some money managers are saying this assessment is premature. “The canary in the coal mine is not dead; it’s just sleeping,” said Ethan Harris, chief economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. This recovery fails to measure up to the previous episodes in two important categories – consumer spending and housing.

According to the Department of Labor, initial jobless claims fell another 21,000 to 454,000 last week. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected initial claims to fall to 465,000. The higher than anticipated drop in initial claims was the largest weekly drop since mid-April. High unemployment has been one of the biggest drags on the economy, alongside consumer spending, and the initial claims number is closely monitored as an indicator of the speed of economic recovery, according to TheStreet.com.

Gold rose 1.2% Friday as investors found a renewed appetite for the metal after it traded below $1,200 an ounce for three straight sessions, according to MarketWatch.com. The euro wasn’t able to hold above $1.27 as this week’s rally for riskier assets began to run out of steam, reported the Wall Street Journal.

In more positive news, APMEX announced this week that Michael Haynes, a 30-year veteran of the precious metal and rare coin markets, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of APMEX. “We are pleased to have Michael Haynes join APMEX as our Chief Executive Officer to both continue and accelerate our growth for the future,” said Founder Scott Thomas. “He brings both public company and private company experience in high growth companies, and we look forward to sharing and benefitting from his vast experience.” Read the complete press release here.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,212.00. The high during the week was on Tuesday, July 6th, at $1,215.10, while the low for the week occurred on Wednesday, July 7th, at $1,185.00. Gold ended the week up $0.60 at $1,212.60. Gold American Eagles, Gold Canadian Maple Leafs and Gold Buffalo Coins were the most popular gold products this week on APMEX.com.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $17.89. Silver reached a high of $18.24 on Friday, July 9th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Wednesday, July 7th, at $17.57. Silver ended the week up $0.28 at $18.17. The best-selling silver products this week were Silver American Eagles, Silver Canadian Maple Leafs and 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,505.80 and ended the week up $27.40 at $1,533.20. The most popular platinum items on APMEX.com this week were Platinum American Eagles, Platinum Australian Koalas and 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $436.00 and ended the week up $26.00 at $462.00. Palladium investors showed the most interest in 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX shines a spotlight on a different bullion product to educate our readers. This week’s featured product is the Gold Austrian Philharmonic coin.

First minted in 1989, the Gold Austrian Philharmonic coin was the most popular selling gold coin in the entire world during 1992, 1995 and 1996, according to the World Gold Council. Elegant is the perfect word to encompass this lovely and unusual modern bullion coin. These exquisite coins were created as a tribute to the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the finest musical ensembles in the world.

A harmonious design of musical instruments represents the world famous orchestra on the reverse of this gold coin. The obverse depicts the Great Organ of the Golden Hall in Vienna’s concert hall. Many collectors and investors consider this to be one of the most beautiful designs of all gold bullion coins. The Austrian Philharmonic coin is struck in .9999 fine gold and is available in 4 common sizes: 1 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce. There is even a limited-edition 20-ounce Gold Philharmonic coin available in extremely small quantities worldwide.

APMEX offers a great selection of current year Gold Austrian Philharmonic coins, as well as several prior years in brilliant uncirculated condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 10 or more will be delivered in mint tubes, and orders of 500 or more come in sealed mint boxes when available.

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Market Recap 7/02/10

A weak job report in June gave the latest evidence that the economic recovery is slowing, reported The Associated Press. The Labor Department said that employers cut 125,000 jobs last month, the most since October. The majority of lost jobs can be attributed to the end of temporary census jobs. Unemployment decreased to 9.5 percent in June – the lowest level since July 2009. Fading confidence in the economy is evident even among Americans with secure jobs. One gauge of consumer confidence fell in June to about 53, down nearly 10 points in a single month, which is well below the reading of 90 typically seen in a healthy economy.

Analysts predict that the euro, which rallied sharply this week, may extend gains above $1.27 in the near term, according to Reuters. After rising as a result of Europe’s recent debt troubles, the dollar fell this week, along with losses in U.S. stocks and other commodities, sparking speculation that investors’ focus may be shifting from the euro zone crisis to the possibility of a stalled recovery in the U.S. “We are going to see further modest pullbacks in the U.S. dollar, but the euro is going to set the tone,” said Ashraf Laidi, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in London. “We may not be far from reaching a stage of concerted dollar decline because of the potential for the Federal Reserve prolonging (low) interest rates for a longer period of time.”

Gold prices contracted sharply on Thursday as investors opted for cash at the start of the third quarter, according to TheStreet.com. The yellow metal rebounded slightly on Friday as reactive investors bought on the dip. “People are still considering gold as a safe haven,” said Bernard Sin, the head of currency and metal trading at bullion refiner MKS Finance SA in Geneva. “Europe is still not in a good shape, and the U.S. is still not in a good shape.” During both the contraction and rebound of gold prices on Thursday and Friday, APMEX.com saw significantly higher transactions as investors continued to prefer ownership of physical precious metal.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,256.60. The high during the week was on Monday, June 28th, at $1,263.70, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, July 2nd, at $1,198.80. Gold ended the week down $44.60 at $1,212.00. The best-selling gold products this week were Gold American Eagles, Gold South African Krugerrands and Gold Canadian Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $19.10. Silver reached a high of $19.23 on Monday, June 28th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Friday, July 2nd, at $17.64. Silver ended the week down $1.21 at $17.89. The most popular silver items on APMEX.com this week were Silver American Eagles, Sunshine Silver Rounds and 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,573.40 and ended the week down $67.60 at $1,505.80. Platinum investors showed the most interest in Platinum American Eagles, 1 oz. Credit Suisse Platinum Bars and 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $481.10 and ended the week down $45.10 at $436.00. Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs and 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars were the most popular palladium products this week on APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX shines a spotlight on a different bullion product to educate our readers. This week, we look at the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coin.

Silver Maple Leaf coins are some of the world’s most recognizable silver bullion coins. First minted in 1988 and struck every year since, the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coins contain one troy ounce of pure silver. They are minted in .9999 fine silver, making them one of the purest of all silver dollar-sized coins. These Maple Leaf coins are magnificently designed, with attention to every intricate detail. This has made the Silver Maple Leaf coin highly desirable to investors and collectors alike.

On the obverse, or front, there is a depiction of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse, or back, depicts the national symbol of Canada – the Maple Leaf. These stunning coins are backed by the Royal Canadian Mint for their purity, content and fineness.

APMEX offers a superb selection of Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coins in a variety of dates and special designs as produced by the Mint. Current dated coins purchased in quantities of 25 or more will be delivered in special mint tubes and quantities of 500 or more coins are shipped in special Royal Canadian Mint boxes.

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Market Recap 6/18/10

The layoff axe struck Government payrolls this week as State Governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, reported CNNMoney.com. Last month alone, 22,000 state and local government jobs have disappeared, according to federal data. The majority of the cuts have come from the local level, and have come from the ranks of teachers, police, firefighters and social service workers. In a letter urging the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate to increase Federal Aid to the States, President Obama wrote that the country faces “a mounting employment crisis at the State and local level that could set back the pace of our economic recovery.”

According to TheStreet.com, investors continued to shine a spotlight of scrutiny on  Spain Friday as the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, met with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain’s prime minister. Neither official mentioned any plans for a rescue package for Spain, a rumor that has been circulating the financial markets for days, according to MarketWatch.

Gold has climbed 15 percent this year, outperforming equities and bonds, while the euro has slumped 14 percent, reported Bloomberg. Many Greeks believe the country may go bankrupt, an opinion poll showed. Spain faces 24.7 billion euros of debt scheduled to mature in July and may need to look to the European Union as a financial lifeline. “The problems over in Europe are just as pernicious over here in the U.S.,” said Michael Pento, the chief economist at Delta Global Advisors Inc. “You can’t trust sovereign debt and sovereign currency. Gold is the only real honest money that we have.”

After a week of sluggish trading, gold set yet another new record high Friday as investors clambered for safe-haven assets. The yellow metal reached $1,262.50. A number of analysts have been quoted saying they believe gold prices will continue to rally and could reach $5,000 to $10,000 per ounce in the next five to 10 years.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,228.40. The high during the week was on Friday, June 18th, at $1,262.50, while the low for the week occurred on Monday, June 14th, at $1,217.50. Gold ended the week up $28.90 at $1,257.30. The most popular gold items on APMEX.com this week were Gold Canadian Maple Leafs, Gold American Eagles and 1 gram Pamp Suisse Gold Bars.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $18.27. Silver reached a high of $19.28 on Friday, June 18th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Tuesday, June 15th, at $18.25. Silver ended the week up $0.94 at $19.21. The highest-selling silver products this week were Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds and 1 oz. American Flag Silver Bars.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,540.20 and ended the week up $55.30 at $1,595.50.  1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, 10 oz. Pamp  Suisse Platinum Bars and Random-Year Platinum Australia Koalas were the most popular platinum products on APMEX.com this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $450.10 and ended the week up $42.40 at $492.50. Palladium investors showed the most interest in Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs and 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars this week.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX features a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we are featuring the Silver American Eagle.

Silver American Eagle coins are backed by the United States Government for their purity, content and fineness. These beautiful coins were the first silver bullion coins ever struck by the United States. The minting of these coins began in 1986 and continues through today. These coins are struck in .999 fine silver and each coin weighs 1 Troy ounce.

A depiction of a walking Miss Liberty graces the obverse, or front, of these silver bullion coins. The design was borrowed from the U.S. Half Dollar design used between 1916 and 1947,  and was created by famed sculptor Adolph Weinman. The reverse, or back, of this coin depicts a Bald Eagle with a shield and 13 stars above it.

APMEX offers a wide selection of Silver American Eagle coins in virtually all production years, in both brilliant uncirculated condition and in collector’s quality proof condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 20 or more will be delivered in the same special tubes as used by the United States Mint. Quantities of 500 or more coins are shipped in the special green United States Mint boxes. Proof coins generally come in their original issue cases with certificates of authenticity as issued by the United States Mint.

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Market Recap 6/11/10

In a setback for the U.S. economy, retail sales fell in May as consumers curtailed their spending on everything from cars to clothing, the Commerce Department reported. The drop in sales reported by the Commerce Department on Friday reflected weak gasoline prices and the end of a home buyer tax credit which had previously boosted sales of building materials, according to Reuters.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. trade deficit with China expanded from $16.90 billion in March to $19.31 billion in April, adding to a trend that some economists worry could revive the international trade imbalances that many see as a major contributor to the recent financial crisis. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said China was taking some steps to address U.S. concerns about its currency and trade policy, but also vowed to press for more fundamental change. “We are seeing some progress, but we still face many challenges,” he said.

With the onset of the World Cup in South Africa, Rand Refinery Ltd., of Johannesburg, South Africa, raised production of Krugerrand coins to a 25-year high as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis boosted investor demand for bullion, according to a story from Bloomberg. Output last week jumped 50 percent to 30,000 ounces of blank coins for minting by SA Mint, said Debra Thomson, the refinery’s treasurer. “We’re seeing higher demand for gold because of the sovereign-debt crisis in Europe and the depreciation of the euro,” said Thomson. “People are looking for gold as a safe haven.” Increased demand for gold caused a brief new high for the yellow metal. Gold set a new record early on Tuesday at $1,254.50 before settling again under the $1,250.00 mark where it remained for the rest of the week.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,220.90. The high during the week was on Tuesday, June 8th, at $1,254.50, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, June 10th, at $1,216.20. Gold ended the week up $7.50 at $1,228.40. The most popular products with gold investors this week were Gold American Eagles, 1 gram APMEX Gold Bars and Gold Canadian Maple Leafs.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $17.45. Silver reached a high of $18.54 on Friday, June 11th, while this week’s low for silver occurred on Monday, June 7th, at $17.20. Silver ended the week up $0.82 at $18.27. The most popular silver items on APMEX.com this week were Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds and Silver Canadian Maple Leafs.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,517.00 and ended the week up $23.20 at $1,540.20. Platinum investors showed the most interest in 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, Platinum American Eagles and 5 gram Credit Suisse Platinum Bars this week.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $428.00 and ended the week up $22.10 at $450.10. Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs and Lewis & Clark design 1 oz. Palladium Bars were the most popular palladium products on APMEX.com this week.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX features a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, in honor of the beginning of the World Cup in South Africa, we will examine the South African Gold Krugerrand.

The Krugerrand was the first modern gold bullion coin ever struck by any nation. These coins were originally minted in 1967 to help South Africa sell some of its vast gold reserves to investors around the world. The Krugerrand was also the world’s first gold coin that weighed exactly 1 Troy ounce and many worldwide investors purchased these coins to add a precious metal investment to their portfolios. These beautiful coins are struck in 22-karat gold and weigh just over one ounce. The additional copper alloy was added to make the coins harder and more resistant to scratches. This alloy gives the Krugerrand its distinctive color. Krugerrands have been continuously minted in South Africa since 1967.

On the obverse, or front, of these coins is a portrait of Paul Kruger, the last President of the Republic of South Africa. The reverse, or back, of this coin depicts a Springbok Antelope, which is one of South Africa’s national symbols. The name “Krugerrand” is a combination of Paul Kruger’s name and the word “rand” which is one of the monetary units of South Africa. These attractive coins are backed by the government of South Africa for their purity, content and fineness. Krugerrands have also been minted in ½ Troy Ounce, ¼ Troy Ounce and 1/10th Troy Ounce sizes as well as having been struck in both Uncirculated and collector’s Proof conditions.

APMEX offers a great selection of South African Krugerrands dated the current year and in several prior years in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 20 or more will be delivered in special mint tubes. Krugerrands make an excellent addition to investment portfolios and are recognized worldwide for their lasting value.

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Market Recap 5/21/10

Stocks plunged earlier this week as more investors woke to the possibility that economic problems such as Europe’s debt crisis might spread around the world and stop the growing recovery in the U.S., according to The Associated Press. Among the major indexes seeing losses was the Dow, which saw its biggest one-day drop since February 2009. “The economic recovery story has started to look like a mirage and the new reality is a return to credit crunch conditions, like those seen during the financial crisis,” said Tom Samuels, manager of the Palantir Fund in Houston. “If that’s correct, stock prices are well ahead of economic reality.” The market recovered on Friday after briefly dropping below the 10,000 mark.

The euro plunged to a four-year low Tuesday, sliding below $1.22. Reports that Germany will issue new restrictions on some types of bearish bets on stocks and bonds sparked uneasiness in financial markets, reported The Wall Street Journal. Germany’s financial regulators said they are banning naked short-selling of certain euro-zone debt offerings and credit default swaps as well as some financial stocks. Under naked short selling, the shares being sold aren’t borrowed in advance. The practice came under fire at the height of Greece’s struggle to refinance its debt, with many euro-zone governments saying such transactions artificially inflated Greek funding costs.

Gold prices dipped Friday providing investors with additional incentive to purchase the yellow metal in a bid against inflation and economic uncertainty. This price dip comes just one week after gold set a new all-time high. Many experts continue to look for another gold rally, some of whom predict that gold could reach unheard of levels. The current price contraction has fueled a massive buying spree which has carried over to silver as well.

Gold:
Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,234.80. The high during the week was on Monday, May 17th, at $1,242.80, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, May 21st, at $1,166.00. Gold ended the week down $55.70 at $1,179.10. This week, the most popular gold products were Gold American Eagles, 2010 Gold Buffalos and 1 gram Sunshine Mint Gold Bars.

Silver:
Spot silver prices opened this week at $19.38. Silver reached a high of $19.45 on Monday, May 17th, while the low for silver occurred on Friday, May 21st, at $17.41. Silver ended the week down $1.73 at $17.65. Popular silver items this week included Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. APMEX Silver Rounds and Silver Canadian Maple Leafs.

Platinum:
Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,725.20 and ended the week down $212.70 at $1,512.50. The most popular platinum items this week were 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Platinum Bars, Platinum American Eagles and 1 oz. Platinum Koalas.

Palladium:
Spot palladium prices opened this week at $529.40 and ended the week down $91.30 at $438.10. This week, palladium investors concentrated their purchases on 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX features a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we are featuring Silver Mexican Libertads.

Silver Mexican Libertads are 1 ounce bullion coins minted in .999 fine silver and are some of the most beautiful silver coins in the world. The reverse depicts two key symbols of the Mexican people. The Independence Angel is in the forefront while the famous Mexican volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihautl, named after the legend of two lovers, are in the background. Built to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence, The Independence Angel, commonly known as El Angel, is one of the main historic monuments in Mexico and is considered the defining symbol of Mexico City.

The obverse of the Silver Mexican Libertad features the National Emblem of Mexico surrounded by the legend “Estados Unidos Mexicanos.” Outlining this inscription, along the contour of the frame of the coin is the reproduction of various emblems used throughout Mexico’s rich cultural history.

Silver Libertads are available in 1, 2 and 5 Troy Ounce coins and have been minted every year since 1982. They are also minted in a proof (collector’s) version.

Silver Mexican Libertads are scarce in the United States and are a wonderful addition to the portfolios of investors and collectors alike.

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