Posts Tagged With: Platinum
January 28th, 2013 – The platinum group metals continue to outshine gold and silver in the early goings of 2013. Platinum (up almost 10% year to date) is knocking on the door of a breakout at the $1,700 level, while palladium (up more than 5% for the year) now trades at 16-month highs.
As for gold and silver prices, they gave up some of their recent momentum last week. Gold relinquished all of the gain from the prior week and silver gave back about half. They continue to trade range-bound.
For the moment, the stock market is the darling of traders. The S&P 500 made a new 5-year high. With the exception of crude oil, commodities and the precious metals played second fiddle. Investors are not currently focused on uncontrolled spending, exponential debt growth, competitive currency devaluation, and negative real interest rates.
Current spot prices:
Gold: $1,659/oz – down $31 from this time a week ago and is slightly lower since Friday’s close at $1,661.
Silver: $31.18 – down 81 cents week-over-week and slightly lower from last week’s close at $31.25.
Platinum: $1,694 – up $18 since last Monday.
Palladium: $749/oz – up $26 from this time a week ago.
Royal Canadian Mint Responds to Demand Spike
The Silver Maple Leafs, minted by the Royal Canadian Mint, have been a big beneficiary of dramatically higher premiums and limited availability in Silver American Eagles. For investors seeking legal-tender government-minted bullion coins, the Maple Leaf was the obvious choice once the Eagle got scarce.
But mints, especially government-run mints, cannot flip a switch and triple production overnight. Officials with the Royal Canadian Mint responded to the demand spike last week by announcing they will also limit what they send to dealers, based on their purchase history.
“Due to very high demand for Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins, the Royal Canadian Mint is carefully managing supply to ensure all our bullion distributors are served and we continue to take orders,” said Alex Reeves, the senior manager for communications at the Royal Canadian Mint.
Demand for physical bullion remains brisk at Independent Living Bullion and other national dealers. If the U.S. Mint resumes taking orders for silver Eagles this week as expected, some of the pressure behind rising premiums will diminish. However, the Mint expects to limit its distribution – just as the Royal Canadian Mint has done. If allocations don’t meet demand, we look for premiums to continue rising, accompanied by longer lead times for delivery – particularly because tightness in available inventory of 90% silver coins also shows no signs of abating.
Potential Market-Moving News This Week
The consensus is that Congress will once again grant itself an increase in federal borrowing capacity, with the assurance to voters – trust them this time – that they will balance the budget later. What could go wrong?!
Anyway, the passage of the “No Budget/No Pay” bill in the House – in which Republicans purport to play hardball by withholding Congressional paychecks until the Democrat-controlled Senate produces a budget – dominated financial media and boosted the stock market last week. Events in Washington DC are likely to remain front and center this week.
Here are some other scheduled events that may impact precious metals:
Tuesday, Jan. 29th – Consumer Confidence. The December report was ugly, with consumers’ expectations for the economy falling 15 points.
Thursday Jan. 31st – Gross Domestic Product. Recent estimates of GDP show slow growth. Of course, the government’s own heavily managed CPI inflation statistics have been used to paint a brighter growth picture. When adjusted using the same CPI calculation employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the 1970s, as reported by ShadowStats.com, the GDP picture is downright ugly.
Thursday Jan. 31st – Jobless Claims. Estimates regarding the number of jobs created put the rate very close to what is needed to offset population growth. In other words, we are treading water. The percentage of people not employed, but not counted by bureaucrats as “unemployed” remains very near the levels seen at the height of the financial crisis. The problem is especially acute among young people.
gold trades at $1,663/oz, up $3 from last week. Spot silver trades at $30.15 – down 5 cents from a week ago.
Platinum and Palladium are set to finish 2012 outperforming gold and silver – both up roughly 10%. Currently platinum trades at $1,527/oz (down $20 versus last Monday). The palladium spot price is $703/oz up $12 week over week
December 3, 2012 – Precious metals are flat this morning as the markets look to recover from last week’s price correction. All eyes continue to be on the debate in Washington DC surrounding the “fiscal cliff.”
Gold is trading near $1,715, and silver is up slightly at $33.71. Platinum is down slightly at $1,603 while palladium is flat at $686.
BEWARE….scammers are working the phones hot and heavy selling “rare” coins for investment…many of these coins are over priced and are NOT investment material.
The American Gold Eagle is the ONLY reliable gold coin to purchase…buy through a local dealer, not over the phone or on a web page.
As Americans prepare for Turkey Day, the threat of Washington “gobbling” up more in taxes could continue to weigh on markets. The upshot is that precious metals appear to be resuming their role as a safe haven in this politically treacherous environment.
Gold and silver have shown remarkable resilience to adverse equity market conditions seen since the election. Over the same period that the S&P 500 has fallen roughly 5%, precious metals have traded modestly higher.
Last week, gold and silver relinquished some of the prior week’s big gains, but have been building a strong base for a likely rally into 2013. For the week, gold fell $17/oz (-1.0%) to $1,715. Silver lost $0.30/oz (-0.9%) and finished at $32.37. Both gold and silver are up substantially this morning.
Platinum and Palladium dodged the negative sentiment impacting most asset markets and put on some gains. Platinum rose $6/oz (+0.4%) to end the week at $1,564. Palladium – the best performing precious metal during the week – jumped $20/oz (+3.3%), closing at $631/oz.
The world’s biggest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum, has fired 12,000 striking South African miners after a protracted strike over wages.
Amplats said three weeks of illegal strikes by 28,000 workers in Rustenburg had cost it 39,000 ounces in output – or 700m rand ($82.3m; £51m) in revenue.
South African mining has been hit by a wave of wildcat strikes, in which miners and officials have been killed.
Some 34 South African platinum miners were shot dead by police in August.
Explaining its decision on Friday, Amplats said the miners had failed to attend disciplinary hearings and had therefore been dismissed.
Attendance levels of less than 20% meant four of the company’s mining operations in Rustenburg could not operate properly.
Employees would learn the outcome of disciplinary hearings later on Friday, and would have three days to appeal their outcome, said the company.
“Approximately 12,000 striking employees chose not to make representations, nor attend the hearings, and have therefore been dismissed in their absence.
Strike “contagion” meant operations had ceased at the Union and Amandelbult (Tumela and Dishaba) mines after workers presented memorandums of demands similar to those received in Rustenburg, added Amplats in a statement.
Gold fields eviction
The workers at the Marikana platinum mine where 34 people were shot dead returned to work after receiving pay rises far higher than the rate of inflation.
A commission of inquiry into the deaths began earlier this week.
Ten other people, including two police officers, were also killed.
Thousands of gold miners and truck drivers are also on strike in South Africa.
On Tuesday, one of the country’s leading gold mines, Gold Fields, evicted 5,000 striking employees from company dormitories, saying they were intimidating fellow workers.