Weekly Gold & Silver Market Recap for March 22nd, 2013


The tiny European island nation of Cyprus dominated many of the financial headlines this week, and as of today there has been no resolution to the country’s financial crisis. Cyprus is in the midst of a financial collapse and is in dire need of aid from larger international banks. The European Union has stepped up and is willing to assist in financing a bailout plan. However, the EU is requiring that Cyprus pay back part of the loan with a tax on bank deposits. Ilya Spivak, currency strategist at DailyFX said the Cyprus bailout plan “has pushed the euro sharply lower at the start of the trading week amid rising fears of mass capital flight.” He continues on to say that investors across the zone could scramble to move their capital out of the region. The easing proposal was met with much resistance by the government of Cyprus. “At this point in time, we are saying [to international lenders] that if you think that by doing this you are fixing things, by actually destroying our economy and one of the biggest and strongest financial sectors we had on this island, then we have to say ‘no’,” said Efi Xanthou, international relations secretary of the Cyprus Green Party. As of today Cypriot lawmakers are voting today on bills that would strike a deal with European partners after talks with Russia fell apart. The controversial tax on bank deposits is the key issue that parliament will debate. Banks in Cyprus reopen on Tuesday, and there is a real concern that capital will begin to flow out of the beleaguered country. The European Union issued the Cypriot parliament an ultimatum saying they need to raise 5.8 billion euros by Monday to receive their bailout package. Without the deal, Cypriot banks will be cut off from the liquidity of the European Central Bank. Bill Blain, senior fixed income broker at Mint Partners, said “Cyprus could be let go if they don’t come up with a robust enough package. If they come up with something half-baked, that will be rejected and they will be let go. If they come up with something that clearly cuts higher deposits and puts money back into the banks and go about bank restructuring, that may work.” The Gold price has been rising as the trouble in Cyprus unfolds. Safe haven buying prompted investors to push the Precious Metal to as high as $1,616.36 an ounce in overnight trading. When priced against the euro, Gold is up 2.6 percent so far this week.


On Tuesday the latest policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee began. HSBC said in a note, “(We) expect the FOMC to reaffirm its commitment to the current quantitative easing policy and to offer no hint that it will alter the policy in the near term … Uncertainties surrounding the potential withdraw of QE contributed to Gold’s sell-off earlier this year. Given this, clarity on the FOMC’s QE exit strategy may help ease such concerns and lend support to Gold.” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke promised to uphold the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases on Wednesday. Few are surprised by the Fed’s announcement as the current unemployment rate of 7.7 percent is still far from the 6.5 percent target. Bernanke has committed to maintain the current stimulus program until the U.S. jobless rate has reached the desired target. Some Federal Reserve officials have been open critics of the need for a continuation of such aggressive monetary policy, but the majority of members still see the current easing measures as necessary to impel U.S. economic recovery. Bernanke noted that a scale down of the quantitative easing (QE) program is far from imminent as officials predict desired levels of unemployment will not be reached until at least 2015. On Thursday morning the United States jobless claims report was released. While the claims did move up, the move was not as much as anticipated. Analysts had expected a rise of about 10,000 claims; in reality it was closer to 2,000 claims. This report lends cause for the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep pushing forward with its monetary easing plans. “Gold is positively reacting to the Fed saying that quantitative easing will not end any time soon and there is also uncertainty of what is going on in Cyprus,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said. Gold has reacted positively when easing is in play and today is no different.

At 4:00 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

Gold, $1,610.10, Down $6.20.
Silver, $28.79, Down $0.50.
Platinum, $1,585.70, Up $3.60.
Palladium, $759.50, Up $3.60.

Investing in a Precious Metals IRA: A Q&A with APMEX Director of VIP Services Peter LaTona

On March 19th, 2013 we hosted a Q&A session on Facebook and Twitter with Pete LaTona, Director of VIP Services. Pete answered several questions about investing in a Precious Metals IRA. Below is a transcript. Please like us on Facebook page and follow our Twitter profile to participate in upcoming chats and let us know if you have any questions.

Q: Can you keep the metal in your possession?
A: This is one of most commonly asked questions about Precious Metals IRAs.The Precious Metals are stored in a depository. If you were to take possession of the metals it would be considered a withdrawal and you would owe taxes at that time. This works just like any IRA. When you take a withdrawal, then it is time to pay taxes.

Q: Do you foresee an increase in the price of Gold/Silver/Platinum for the far future?
Everyone wants to know if prices are going up, but no one really knows for sure. If a Precious Metals dealer shouts from the rooftops that prices are going up, then consider their motive. The man who runs the world’s largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio, says he does not know what prices will do, yet he believes in a 5% Gold allocation because of its value as a currency. Central banks became net buyers of Gold in 2010, and they just keep buying more. Gold has become a currency. Gold belongs in everyone’s portfolio who wants protection from all of the financial risks we face in today’s environment. How much (4-20%) depends on how much risk you think is out there.

Q: Why do you think the government will keep their promises regarding IRAs? See Cyprus, for example. IRAs are the major source of wealth for Americans. The tax deal is so good, that I can’t help but to think there will be some level of confiscation.
I do not believe the government will change IRA rules because there are no more pensions in today’s world. The government has a vested interest in people being able to take care of themselves, at least to some extent. I do not believe confiscation will occur ever, but that is my opinion. The cost to send the Army door to door for confiscation would be much more than the amount of Gold they would find.

Q: Am I able to open an IRA through APMEX and deposit funds whenever? Or is there a defined plan?
A: There are defined plans. First, you choose your IRA custodian and then fund your account. Once the money is in your account, you call APMEX and we help you with your purchase.

Q: In your opinion, what is the number one reason to own physical Gold and Silver?
The primary reason from a financial planner point of view is wealth protection through portfolio diversification. There are others, but that is probably number one by far. The six main categories of investors we find at APMEX are those who want to protect their money; those who want to make money; those who are skeptical of big business and governments; those who fear a major currency collapse and metals would be needed to buy bread; people who like to collect beautiful coins from around the world; new investors who just are waiting to make their first purchase.

Q: With the credit crises in Europe spreading and the slow uptick in the stock market here, how do you foresee the price of metals increasing in the next ten years?
You are pointing out that the global economic concerns have only been given Band-Aids as politicians lack the will to make hard decisions. Most people would expect Gold prices to rise in such an environment. Central banks continue to trade paper assets for Gold. That alone should tell us something. Countries across the globe are printing money, and it is hard not to imagine inflation setting in sooner or later. Let’s just hope we never see hyperinflation. I met a man from Argentina several years ago who told me at one time during their hyperinflation when he woke up in the morning, it was as if someone had taken another zero out of his bank account.

Q: Do you think Silver will hit $50 an ounce sooner rather than later?
Define sooner or later. I am not trying to avoid an answer, but timelines need to be clear. I believe the same economic uncertainty that could drive Gold prices up will take Silver along with it. I will tell you we have many sophisticated clients who would say sooner. We also need to keep in mind Silver industrial uses. It is a key component of solar panels. Silver has hit $50 before, so it would not be a shock to hit it again.

Q: Can the depository be at our home bank?
It would depend on whether your bank is approved to handle IRA deposits. Most banks are not set up for this type of depository service.

Q: Would it be better to open a Precious Metals IRA or keep them on hand to help my children when they are older?
If you have the funds outside of an IRA to buy what you want, I would use those funds outside of your IRA. Sometimes, most of the money you might have to invest is in an IRA.

Q: I collect Silver and store it myself. Is there a minimum amount required to take all of my Silver and turn it into an IRA?
A: If you have Silver in your possession already, you cannot create an IRA with the actual physical metal. An IRA is funded with cash, and then you buy the metals.

Q: I remember when 1 oz of Silver only cost me 5 dollars… how times have changed. Precious Metals will hit the moon soon…
Silver seemed like it traded at $20 or below for forever. It has been trading in a range for some time the past year. Let’s see if a break out occurs. Also remember that Silver has become a key component in solar panels. If that industry really takes off…?

Q: Let’s say I requested to cash out today, when would the metals arrive in my hands?
A: Processing will vary by depository; most people cash out, but you can also take physical possession. My best guess is around 2 weeks, but you’ll have to check with your specific IRA custodian.

Q: How would you take delivery of the physical metals if you have them in a Precious Metals IRA?
A: Your depository will ship your metals to you, or you can choose to cash out your account.

Investing in a Precious Metals IRA: A Q&A with APMEX Director of VIP Services Peter LaTona

3 Day Stampede: Silver As Low As 99¢ Over Spot

1oz Silver Buffalo Round

1oz Silver Buffalo Round

Very nice Silver rounds with a rendition of James Earle Fraser’s classic design featuring an American Indian in profile on the obverse and an American buffalo on the reverse. Orders in multiples of 20 rounds will be shipped in tubes; multiples of 500 will be shipped in APMEX boxes.

How can your portfolio benefit from the value of Silver? Speak with a knowledgeable Account Manager at APMEX to learn about using Silver as an investment and make your Silver purchase today. Also, you can come to us when it is time to sell Silver or to sell Gold.

You can’t beat this low price on Silver Buffalo Rounds!
Order by Thursday, March 21, 3 p.m. (CDT)
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Analyst Predicts Ongoing Easing Through 2013

Gold and Platinum prices are mostly flat this morning, while Silver and Palladium are down slightly. Analysts continue to say that the high physical demand in Asia is one of the driving forces behind Gold’s price, though it seems the major topic is quantitative easing (QE) around the world. Recent comments from central bank officials have supported ongoing QE in many regions, as seen yesterday when a European Central Bank official confirmed the eurozone’s monetary policy stance “for as long as necessary.”

Roubini Global Economics’ Managing Director of Research Christian Menegatti chimed in, saying, “We are talking about 2014, in terms of winding down quantitative easing. We’ll have to wait much longer for rate hikes… well into 2015 and maybe towards the end of (that year).” The driving force behind Gold being stuck just below $1,600 has been fear that QE could be coming to an end soon, but these views seem to refute that. In a recent CNBC poll, over 70 percent of voters said they were still buying Gold instead of selling it.

At 9:10 a.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1,593.60, Down $0.10.
  • Silver, $29.15, Down $0.09.
  • Platinum, $1,598.50, Up $1.50.
  • Palladium, $772.80, Down $1.80.

APMEX’s Account Managers now have extended hours Mondays through Thursdays and are here to serve you until 7 p.m. (CDT)! Or call us Fridays until 5 p.m. (CDT)! If you have any questions about investing in precious metals or simply would prefer to place your order by telephone, we are here to help.

European Central Bank announced inflation pressure relief could suggest further easing measures

Gold rose today after European Central Bank (ECB) Policymaker Jens Weidmann announced inflation pressure relief could suggest further easing measures. Standard Bank Analyst Walter de Wet said, “It may be that the comments of Jens Weidmann made the market move … if we manage to push the market convincingly through $1,592, we may see a push towards $1,600 and until the New York market opens we should stay around current levels.”

The U.S. job market is slowly but surely picking up, JPMorgan Chase Senior Economist James Glassman confirmed, saying, “We’ve got a long way to go to get back to a fully employed economy, but we are on the road.” He continued to say, “If you look at the labor market data, you can’t find any evidence of this political debate that is going on, the fiscal cliff, all that.” The U.S. Labor Department reported today in the 12 months ending in January, the economy produced a net 2 million jobs, with an estimated 52 million hires and 50 million separations.

At 1:10 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1,593.30, Up $13.30.
  • Silver, $29.23, Up $0.32.
  • Platinum, $1,597.50, Down $5.70.
  • Palladium, $773.10, Down $5.10.

APMEX’s Account Managers now have extended hours Mondays through Thursdays and are here to serve you until 8 p.m. (EDT)! Or call us Fridays until 6 p.m. (EDT)! If you have any questions about investing in Precious Metals or simply would prefer to place your order by telephone, we are here to help.

Before They Sell Out, The First Proof Silver Eagles Of 2013

The First Proof Silver Eagle of 2013

The First Proof Silver Eagle of 2013

Struck from specially treated dies, these 2013 Proof Silver American Eagles have features that make them unique collectibles. Backgrounds shimmer with a mirrorlike finish while frosted raised devices amplify details in the classic design. Moreover, the U.S. government controls the mintage, guaranteeing their scarcity. Click here to buy.

US Mint Gold Eagle Sales Up 240%

The United States Mint completed the month of February 2013 with a year over year increase from February 2012 in mintage and sales of the 1 Oz Gold American Eagle of 240%, the largest year over year increase in any monthly sales since the financial crisis of 2008. This increase followed the January year over year increase of 47% in mintage and sales of the same Gold coins.

US Mint Monthly Gold 1 oz Eagles

In a similar manner, the United States Mint reported an increase in the mintage and sales of the 1 Oz Silver American Eagle for February 2013 over February 2012 of 126%, the largest increase in sales during the month of February over the same month for the previous year since the financial crisis in 2008. For January 2013, the increase in sales of the Silver coin was 23% as compared to the sales in January 2012.

US Mint Monthly Silver 1 oz Eagles

“The increase in sales by the United States Mint of the 1 oz Gold and Silver coins is evidence of the significant demand for the physical precious metals in the market place. According to the communications with our customers, more buyers are turning to physical Gold and Silver because of concerns over the U.S. Debt and the crisis this huge debt level may bring to the U.S. Economy over the next several years,” stated Michael Haynes, CEO of APMEX.