1.6.12 Weekly Recap

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Gold prices started the week trading higher amid New Year optimism in global markets. It was a volatile week for the precious metal yet prices were still above $1,600 per ounce as the week came to a close.  Analysts remain optimistic over Gold’s performance in the coming year, with many expecting demand for the precious metal to see a boost in response to any quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve and/or European Central Bank. Analysts from Merrill Lynch said this week that they “believe the high cost structure of the global Gold sector should provide support” to the price of the metal.  They expect the price of Gold to average $1,850 an ounce in the coming year.  Even Dennis Gartman of the Gartman Letter changed his view on Gold, becoming “officially bullish” again. He wrote, “The bear run that began in August has now officially ended.”

Geopolitical tension strengthens Gold’s appeal as a safe-haven asset. This was apparent during the past 13 months, with the start of the Arab Spring that spread to Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and others. Now, there are many other situations at play. The ongoing conflict with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz, combined the news that Iran produced its first nuclear rod this week, brought about some safe haven buying of Gold. As the U.S. continued to hit Iran with sanctions, the Middle-East country threatened the United States Navy with military action if a departing U.S. aircraft carrier returns.  Iranian army chief Salehi said, “I advise, recommend, and warn [the U.S.] over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once.” Meanwhile, the financial sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union (EU) started to affect Iran negatively by cutting off the ability of Iran to collect payment for oil exports. The European Union came to a preliminary agreement with the U.S. to ban imports of Iranian oil. However, many countries in the EU are dependent on the oil imports. Paul Stevens, economist and emeritus professor at Dundee University in Scotland told CNBC, “”Greece’s economy is already mired in deep recession and could feasibly collapse entirely if the sanctions were imposed. But the impact that would have on countries like Italy and Greece would be enormous, and the Greeks are not going to slit their own throats for the sake of an EU sanction when Iran is the only country willing to offer them oil on favorable terms. It would utterly destroy the Greek economy.”

With the European Central Bank (ECB) continuing to lend money at a very low 1% interest rate to European banks, the opinion is divided over whether that cash flow is actually helping Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, or if the money is just being hoarded by banks. Of issue is a lack of trust in lending between banks, and that lack of trust has the ECB fearing a potential credit crunch within the eurozone, which would be detrimental to the hopes of climbing out of the debt crisis. Renewed concerns about European economic issues caused the euro to plunge to its lowest point in 16 months on Thursday, resulting in a corresponding downturn of global stocks and commodities. Against the U.S. dollar, the European currency dropped below $1.28 today, a level not seen since September 2010. Explaining the euro drop, Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist with Brown Brothers Harriman, said, “I think the market’s primarily concerned about the rollover (of debt) risk from the sovereigns as well as the banks’ capital. You also had weaker European economic data.” Chandler said these concerns, although not new, have flared in response to efforts by Unicredit, Italy’s largest bank, to attract investors by offering a 43% discount on new shares. According to Chandler, “People expect a downgrade any day. Next week, you have Spain and Italy coming to the bond market. Full liquidity hasn’t really returned to the market. The euro is falling against the dollar and also making new lows against sterling and the yen.” European Central Bank policymaker Athanasios Orphanides said that he thinks banks are paying too much for the economic collapse in Greece.  He recently asked leaders in the eurozone to go back on plans which would make private sector investors – the banks – take a large share in reducing Greece’s debts.  Orphanides said that although the Greek government might suffer, “by restoring trust in the eurozone, it would reduce the financing costs of other eurozone governments.” This idea is unlikely to gain much steam, however, as the main force in the eurozone now is Germany, the country that was very much behind the banks taking a haircut on Greek debt.

Germany sold 4.06 billion euros of government bonds this week, with a higher demand than previously recorded in November. Also this week, France sold 8 billion euro’s worth of higher-yield bonds, and the European Financial Stability Fund sold 3 billion euros in three-year bonds. This past December, Standard & Poor’s warned German and French governments of possible bond rating downgrades, and some economists have said that France might be the first to lose its AAA credit rating. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel plan to meet next week to review Europe’s new fiscal agreement before the EU summit planned for the end of this month. Europe seems to be heading towards a recession with the austerity measures in place, which has caused citizens to be more hesitant to spend money accompanied by an increased unemployment rate. Jennifer McKeown at Capital Economics commented on the down fall of Europe by saying, “Things are really starting to slow down. There’s an underlying economic downturn going on at the same time as the peripheral debt crisis continues. Even the strongest parts of the euro-zone economy are beginning to falter. We see the euro zone beginning to break up, perhaps as soon as this year.”

A key U.S. manufacturing index for December was released that shows evidence of growth. The demand for automobiles and an increase in holiday sales has helped pave the pathway for a U.S. economic recovery. The U.S. housing market  has been a concern since 2008. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that applications for U.S. home mortgages fell 4.1% in the last week of December, along with a 9.6% drop in purchase loan requests and 2.5% drop in refinancing requests. The housing market is an important facet of the U.S. economy and should reflect positive numbers to show a full economic recovery. U.S. stock futures rose on Friday after the nonfarm jobs report by Automatic Data Processing Inc. was released. Economists expected the number of jobs added in December to reach 150,000, and the report showed 200,000 jobs added. The value of the U.S. dollar also rose.

There were many factors driving uncertainty in the market in 2011. With a new year to tackle new problems, the eurozone crisis remains intact with no solution in sight. This ongoing crisis has driven borrowing costs to unsustainable levels and created concern for a banking crisis in Europe. In an outlook note on 2012, David Simmonds with the Royal Bank of Scotland wrote, “The eurozone crisis is life-threatening because there is too much debt, too little growth and huge intra-zone trade imbalances — belated resurrection of fiscal rules is no panacea. We are in a multiyear de-leveraging world with multiyear low-growth consequences, so mistrust most the quick-fix, free-liquidity addicts who seize on each emergency monetary policy response as a cure-all.”

WEEKLY SPOT PRICES

Gold: Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,600.50. The high was on Friday, Jan. 6th at $1,632.30, while the low for the week occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd at $1,566.80. Gold ended the week up $17.90 at $1,618.40. 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 $29.52. Silver reached a high of $29.74 on Wednesday, Jan. 4th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd at $27.91. Silver ended the week down $0.74 at $28.78. 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 $1,429.40 and ended the week down $22.40 at $1407.00. 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 $663.60 and ended the week down $46.40 at $617.00. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

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Certified Morgan Dollars

One of the most famous and collectible American coins is the Morgan Silver Dollar, produced from 1878-1904 and in 1921. The 90% Silver coin was also popular for trading. The coin is labeled in reference to the celebrated design by George T. Morgan, a pupil of William Wyon of the Royal Mint in London. The coin’s obverse depicts a profile of Lady Liberty wearing a band on her head with the word “LIBERTY” inscribed. Her profile is surrounded by the words “E Pluribus Unum” and the date of mintage. The coin’s reverse features an eagle carrying an olive branch and arrows. Morgan’s initial, M, can be found both on the front and back of the coin, but this well-known design is easily distinguishable among other Silver Dollars.

The Morgan Dollar is also valued for its high-quality strike. For many collectors, the coin provides a fun, yet challenging collecting experience because of the many varieties and overdates available. Many have survived in relatively high grades considering their age and their use as a common currency. APMEX offers high quality certified Morgan Dollars ranging from MS-62 up to the rare MS-68 from PCGS and NGC grading services. APMEX Certified Morgan Dollars are excellent options for expanding your collection of American numismatic history. APMEX makes it easy to buy Silver Dollars by offering competitive Silver prices on all Silver products.

Order Silver online today at APMEX.com!

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 12 – Gold American Eagles

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For the next 24 hours only, you can buy the 1 oz. Gold American Eagle — the most popular U.S. Gold bullion coin — for only $79.99 per coin over spot. These IRA-approved coins feature iconic designs on both sides, with weight and purity guaranteed by the U.S. government. APMEX has 1 oz. Gold American Eagles in stock and ready for safe and secure shipping now. Don’t miss out. The 12 Days of Christmas Event ends Tuesday 12/13 at 10:00 AM EST. Order today, while supplies last.

Investment Appeal and Collectibility

The 1 oz. Gold American Eagles are widely held by investors and stunning to behold.

  • These extremely popular, highly liquid coins can be sold easily at any time.
  • They are approved for IRAs and can be used to diversify a long-term investment portfolio.
  • Their size and authenticity are guaranteed by the U.S. government.
  • Both sides feature iconic designs that embody the power and beauty of the American people.

Created by famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the front features Lady Liberty holding a torch and olive branch walking away from the U.S. Capitol against rays of sun. The back, designed by sculptor Miley Busiek, features a male bald eagle holding an olive branch as a sign of peace while, in the nest, a female bald eagle waits with her young.

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Low Pricing on Any Quantity Order as many 1 oz. Gold American Eagle coins as you like for the same low price of just   $79.99 per coin over spot.  Order today, while supplies last!

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Last Chance! Shop all of the APMEX 12 Days of Christmas Specials Today.

Missed any of our daily specials? See the complete selection of Gold and Silver offerings for the Holidays at APMEX.Order Gold American Eagles online today at APMEX.com!

 

 

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12 Days of Christmas: DAY 10 – Gettysburg America The Beautiful

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 Silver bullion For Only $1.99 Per Oz. Over Spot!

Celebrate a piece of American history with the 2011 5 oz. Gettysburg America the Beautiful coin, now just $1.99 per oz. over spot for any quantity. Graded MS-69 Prooflike First Strike by PCGS, these stunning .999-fine Silver coins commemorate the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. Order yours while supplies last, and enjoy safe and secure shipping from APMEX.

Affordable Pricing on a Nearly Perfect Coin

The U.S. Mint launched the America the Beautiful Program in 2010, and issues five new designs each year. Gettysburg was the first issue for 2011. APMEX is pleased to extend a special offer on a limited number of these coins that are graded MS-69 Prooflike First Strike by PCGS, the premier grading service. These coins:

  • Are nearly perfect.
  • Have a mirror-like finish that you won’t find on all America the Beautiful coins.
  • Were delivered from the U.S. Mint within the first 30 days of release.

The front of the coin is an exact replica of the front of the Washington Quarter. The back depicts Soldiers National Monument, a statue constructed to honor the American soldiers laid to rest at Gettysburg.

Buy  Silver bullion  Today at APMEX!

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Market Recap 6/3/2011

Another week, another disappointing jobs report. The ADP private sector jobs report showed just 38,000 new private sector jobs in May whereas it was fully expected to be up by 175,000 new private sector jobs. The futures market opened low today as investors and analysts awaited this report. After the report was released, the futures market fell even further. When will economists stop being caught off-guard by low numbers? Some suggest they are in denial that the economic recovery is slowing down.  Fears of a double-dip recession seemed to hang on today’s nonfarm payrolls report. To put the report in perspective, April numbers showed an increase of 244,000 jobs. Analysts predicted May numbers would be approximately 125,000 jobs. The increase was actually just 54,000 (a nine-month low.) The unemployment rate sits at 9.1%. Stock futures tumbled along with the U.S. dollar index and gold recovered from early-morning losses.

Earlier in the week, there were hopes that Greece would finally be getting the economic help it needs to sustain itself. However, Moody’s has cut Greece’s credit rating by three notches, which drops the score into an extremely speculative phase. This news infers that the payoff of Greek debt is no longer based on funds and paybacks of loans, but speculation. The outlook is quite negative. Greece’s Finance Ministry disputes the credit rating cut and claims the government’s attempts to gain traction has not been taken into consideration, “[The downgrade] is influenced by intense rumour in the media and overlooks the Greek government’s pledges to achieve its fiscal targets for 2011 and to accelerate privatizations.”

News has circulated about a crisis in Yemen but most people have ignored the signs since the small country seems irrelevant to the bigger picture. Is this an accurate opinion? The Yemen situation is so dire that it may take years to recover. How is this relevant? The small country is in financial trauma and it needs restructuring as well as stronger leadership. The domestic oil supply and electricity was cut off by hostile tribes because of the crisis and resulting chaos. Food and water are becoming scarce. At times like these when food and water have become scarce, people are desperate for someone to take control and bring peace. Who desires to assist an oil-rich company?

A  Marketwatch financial analyst announced that, at the moment, gold is the choice that makes the most sense for investors. He explained,”Polls show that while most Americans see the need for the federal budget deficit to be cut, the majority of citizens are not prepared for cuts in Medicare and other entitlements that are necessary to materially reduce it. …And then there is the historical side of it: No fiat currency has ever survived.”

WEEKLY GOLD PRICES
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,538.10. The high during the week was onWednesday,June 1st, at $1,551.60, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, June 2nd, at $1,520.40. Gold ended the week up $6.00 at $1,544.10. 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.

WEEKLY SILVER PRICES
Spot Silver prices opened this week at $38.12. Silver reached a high of $38.77 on Tuesday, May 31st, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Friday, June 3rd, at $35.07. Silver ended the week down $1.74 at $36.38. 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.

WEEKLY PLATINUM PRICES
Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,806.10 and ended the week up $11.30 at $1,817.40. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

WEEKLY PALLADIUM PRICES
Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $764.50 and ended the week up $20.80 at $785.30. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Product of the Week:  2011 1 oz. Silver American Eagle

 2011 brought with it a newly designed Silver American Eagle. This current date of the Silver Eagle will only add to the coin’s legacy as the most popular Silver bullion coin in the world. Another interesting tidbit about the 2011 Silver American Eagle is the minting location. 2011 is the first year Silver Eagles have been minted at the San Francisco Mint since 1998. 

The U.S. Mint began minting the Silver American Eagle (SAE) in 1986.  The 26 years of mintage have produced over 225 million SAEs.  Since 2000, demand for these coins has exploded.  These 2011 coins trade at premiums close to common-date Silver American Eagles, which makes their current date a bonus of sorts.  The 2011 SAE is a brilliant uncirculated coin that can be bought in bulk at APMEX.com and used in Precious Metals IRAs while potentially adding numismatic value to your investment.

 

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Market Recap 5/13/11

Precious metals had another topsy-turvy week, with gains and losses every day this week following last week’s sell offs. The U.S. Dollar was down Monday after a 3% rally last week with rumors that Greece might leave the European Union. These factors contributed to the lower metal prices last week; however, David Morgan, founder of Silver-investor.com, is still bullish for the metals. “The fundamental fact remains that you cannot print wealth. As long as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other central bankers in the world try to print wealth you’re going to have more and more upside for the metals,” says Morgan.

Paul Mladjenovic, author of “Precious Metals Investing for Dummies,” said Gold looks “very strong” and any pullback will be minor as the market expects some dollar strength and some euro weakness. In fact, the typical reasons for precious metals to be a safe haven for investors – inflation fears, a weak dollar, and geopolitical fears are still prevalent in the marketplace.

Stocks traded lower Friday primarily driven by concerns over inflation and a strengthening dollar. “Core inflation is beginning to accelerate. Bernanke may be on the wrong side of this while some of the regional Fed presidents may be closer to the mark,” said Michael Strauss chief economist and chief investment strategist at Commonfund.

Charles de Vaulux, mutual fund manager, suggests that you should own Gold bullion as a part of your diverse portfolio of assets. “We control risk by owning Gold,” de Vaulx said. “As long as the policymakers are being irresponsible, it’s good to own some Gold, especially if the dollar keeps falling.” U.S. bonds, long thought of as a rock-solid investment, have come under increased scrutiny lately with the potential for high inflation and the debt ceiling looming, raising the possibility of a default on U.S. bonds. De Vaux is currently shorting U.S. government debt.

Gold:
Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,500.70. The high during the week was on Wednesday, May 11th, at $1,526.80, while the low for the week occurred on Thursday, May 12th, at $1,477.60. Gold ended the week down $1.00 at $1,499.70. 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 $35.85. Silver reached a high of $39.47 on Wednesday, May 11th, while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Thursday, May 12th, at $32.30. Silver ended the week down $0.26 at $35.59. 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 $1,791.60 and ended the week down $23.10 at $1,768.50. 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 $717.20 and ended the week down $5.30 at $711.90. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at APMEX.com.

Featured Bullion Product:
Beginning on January 3, 2011, the 2011 Gold American Eagle Coins became available to each of the United States Mint’s authorized purchasers. An official Gold bullion coin of the United States, the Gold American 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 Bald Eagles, a symbol of American nationalism and pride.

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 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 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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