Thursday, November 29, 2012
Gold bullion investors and coin collectors are scrambling to get the new 2013 Gold Maple Leaf coins. Struck from one ounce of Canada’s legendary .9999 fine gold, these coins boast a laser security device. This new visual security feature confirms the authenticity of all Maple Leaf one-ounce gold coins produced in 2013 and beyond. Lasers create a contrasting pattern micro-engraved on the coin die. The device appears on the reverse of the coin.
These coins are world leaders in terms of purity and security
The unique new security feature used for the first time in 2013 combined with the status of pure 24kt gold ensures the coins bullion and numismatic value!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The precious complex is in the red this morning as a stronger U.S. dollar and month-end profit-taking weigh on the markets. With no real news to keep the markets elevated, other than any fiscal cliff developments, market participants are seizing the opportunity to lock in profits ahead of year-end and position themselves for the potential trouble that looms just around the corner on January 1st. Palladium is off 2.5% from yesterday’s close at $668.20 while silver is also down 2.50% to $33.060. Platinum sunk back below $1600 ad is currently down 1.75% to $1590. Gold is also down 1.75% to $1712 after closing yesterday’s session at $1742.30. Lack of progress over a fiscal cliff deal has investors on edge and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year. Today brings about new home sales data at 10:00 AM ET and the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book release later this afternoon. Across the pond, it was reported on Tuesday that a debt deal had been proposed that would pave the way for Greece to receive another infusion of funds pushing the euro back to the $1.30 level. However, not surprisingly, details remain sketchy and concerns over whether all parties involved would agree on the deal places a blanket of uncertainty over the region and has the euro now trading at $1.289. Have a great day!
Monday, November 26, 2012
Fiscal Cliff? What Fiscal Cliff? If you need a better gauge of consumer sentiment, other than the U. of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, look no further than Black Friday sales as deciphered by the National Retail Sales Federation. Perhaps this year’s crop of Turkey’s didn’t contain enough tryptophan because shoppers were out in force as early as Thursday night, spending $59.1 billion dollars and driving sales 13% higher than the same day last year. However, this may not be enough to boost investor sentiment as one very big concern remains, the cliff they call “Fiscal”. Congress returns to mounting pressure to reach a deal in little more than a month, to avoid economic disaster. Across the pond, Eurozone finance ministers will be looking to avoid a disaster of their own as they meet to decide on whether or not to open the proverbial pocket-book for Greece. Nothing terribly exciting on tap for today as markets get back into the swing of things after the extended holiday weekend. The precious complex is trading relatively flat to start the day. Have a great day!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
U.S. markets are likely to remain in wait-and-see mode today as light trading volumes ahead of Thanksgiving
U.S. markets are likely to remain in wait-and-see mode today as light trading volumes ahead of Thanksgiving, concerns over the fiscal cliff and lack of a Greece debt-reduction agreement weigh on investors. Euro finance ministers failed to reach an agreement today surrounding Greece’s fiscal woes that would pave the way for much needed bailout funds to be released. Discussions lasted nearly 12 hours and it was said that progress was made. However, Greece’s future in the Eurozone remains in limbo, at least until Monday when talks are scheduled to resume. Tensions in the Middle-East remain high as hopes for a cease-fire seem to be dwindling following a bus bombing in Tel-Aviv. Here in the U.S. initial jobless claims came in at just 41,000 last week compared to the 90,000 claims the week before. The Labor Department has cited Hurricane Sandy as the culprit for the unusually high claims but as the North East continues to recover the claims should fall. The University of Michigan will release the last of its November readings on consumer sentiment at 10:00 AM ET. Have a great day and Happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The short attention span of the U.S. markets will shift overseas following yesterday’s rally on the back of Friday’s “Fiscal Cliff” talks that investors perceived to be positive. Eurozone worries will be competing with Mid-East violence for the spotlight today following a credit downgrade of one of the regions larger economies and as EU finance ministers discuss aid to Greece. Moody’s became the latest credit rating agency to downgrade France to an Aa1 rating after Standard & Poor’s did similarly in January. Moody’s cited struggles with both high debt levels and labor market issues, among other problems, as reasons for the downgrade. The euro reached a low of $1.276 but has since moved above yesterday’s closing levels and is now at $1.279. In other Eurozone news, the regions financial brain trust meets today to discuss a €44 billion aid package to Greece and to say the finance ministers are uncertain about lending to the economically stressed country would probably be an understatement. Here in the U.S. a report on housing starts showed an increase of 3.6% in October, the highest rate since 2008. Fed Chairman Bernanke is due to speak at the Economic Club of New York beginning at 12:15 pm ET. Expect markets to become a bit choppier as trading conditions begin to thin out ahead of the long Turkey-Day weekend here in the states. Have a great day!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Markets here in the U.S. are looking a bit rosier following Friday’s relatively cordial “Fiscal Cliff” discussion between the President and lawmakers. This has given hope to investors that Congress will be able to keep the economy from going over the edge and slipping back into recession. The combination of spending cuts and tax increases will take effect on January 1st if the President and lawmakers don’t find some common ground before then. Violence in the Gaza strip, between Israel and Hamas, has the world on edge and it doesn’t appear the two sides are willing to talk it out. Gold and oil have pushed higher as the conflict threatens to spill into all-out war. The yellow metal is up nearly 1% after closing Friday’s session at $1715.Gold is now trading at $1730. The rest of the precious complex looks to be riding gold’s coat-tails with a little help from thin trading conditions to start the Holiday shortened week here in the States. Existing home sales will be released at 10:00 am EST. Have a great day!
Friday, November 16, 2012
We can forget about the fiscal cliff or the Mayan prediction of the apocalypse…Hostess Brands, the maker of the beloved Twinkies, intends to close up shop. The world might as well just end now! Fortunately, we don’t have to panic just yet as the company will be liquidating assets and Twinkies will likely live on…Unfortunately, we can’t exactly forget about the looming fiscal cliff. U.S. equities are poised to move higher to end the week as rumor has it that the President and his administration may have an idea of how to avoid the cliff. As they say though, talk is cheap and until action is taken investors will remain cautious. President Obama will meet with lawmakers today to discuss the impending economic turmoil and investors will gauge the tone of the talks for an idea of whether or not the two sides will be able to make progress before the end of the year. The precious complex remains under pressure in early trading. Platinum continues to decline on the back of reports that striking miners have returned to work at the world’s #1 platinum producer, Amplats. The white metal closed yesterday’s session at $1573 but ran into more selling in the Asian markets and is now trading at $1555.50. Palladium has followed suit and now trades at $628 after closing yesterday’s session at $631. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Platinum’s march toward $1600, following forecasts of deficits in the wake of continued labor strife in South Africa, has been reversed after reports that workers are returning to the mines at Anglo American Platinum. Amplats, the world’s #1 platinum producer, said workers began returning to work today and that it would take about a week for production to resume. Platinum closed yesterday’s session at $1591.60 but is now trading more than .75% lower at $1578. Palladium looks to have slowed its recent surge as the metal is now trading modestly softer in the early session, down .4% to $638. U.S. initial jobless claims soared 78,000 to 439,000 last week but the jobs data needs to be taken with an even bigger grain of salt than normal as the numbers are skewed by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and could be for quite some time. In other data released today, October CPI rose just .1%. Philly Fed manufacturing data will be released at 10:00 am EST. Across the pond, Eurozone GDP readings have indicated that the region is in recession yet again. Eurozone GDP in the third quarter contracted .1%. Have a great day!
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I don’t know why everyone’s worried about the fiscal cliff. According to the Mayan’s we won’t even get to Jan. 1, 2013! However, regardless of which catastrophic event does/does not happen, there’s always some economic data to keep us preoccupied. Earlier this morning the Commerce Department reported a decline in U.S. retail sales in October. Hurricane Sandy is said to be the primary culprit of a .3% decline in retail sales last month. The massive storm that battered the north east is said to be the cause of a 1.5% haircut in auto sales for the month of October. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was expected to have shown a .1% increase in the PPI but that figure actually showed a decline of .2% for the month of October. Later today we’ll get the meeting minutes from the FOMC’s last meeting but no one is expecting anything surprising. The precious complex is trading modestly higher in the early part of today’s session with the exception of palladium. The white metal is continuing to surge higher after yesterday’s >4% move higher following JM’s forecast of a 915,000 ounce palladium deficit. Palladium is up 1.35% on the day, now trading at $645. However, the recent uptick may provide a good opportunity to lock in profits so a correction is not out of the question. Have a great day!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
As the President of the United States and lawmakers from both parties play chicken with the proverbial freight-train, the “fiscal cliff”, investor sentiment remains cautious at best. While the consensus seems to be that a deal will be reached, it may not come until the very last minute and, until then, the markets will be left to speculate on the “what if” scenario should the clock strike zero hour. In Europe, Greece’s passing of a budget over the weekend was only half the battle, or perhaps a quarter of the battle, as a meeting to discuss the next tranche of bailout funds for the struggling country has been pushed to November 20th indicating that the regions finance ministers remain uncertain about Greek staying power in the European Union. A €5 billion debt repayment, due on Friday, has been rolled over but at some point Greece is going to have to pay the piper and that will weigh heavily on any decision by EU leaders to release funds. The euro has slipped roughly .25% and now trades at $1.267. The precious complex is mixed with gold and silver trading lower and platinum and palladium trading higher. The white metals are seeing support from the release of JM’s Platinum 2012 Interim Review that indicates the platinum market will go into a deficit of 400K t.o. on the back of supply disruptions and lower recycling volumes. Platinum is up nearly 1% while palladium is up more than 1.25%. Have a great day!
Monday, November 12, 2012
The trifecta of regional fiscal uncertainty continues to weigh on the minds of investors. Japan, the world’s #3 economy, appears on course for recession following reports that the island nation’s economy shrank by 3.5% last quarter. The data comes as a surprise to many economists as the second quarter was revised up to a .3% growth rate. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost nearly 1% by the close of trading in Asia. In Europe, Greek lawmakers passed a 2013 budget over the weekend, a big step towards persuading lenders to free up more bailout funds. However, with a €5 billion payment on the books for this week, those lenders might not be pulling out the checkbooks just yet. Here in the U.S. consumers seem confident following Friday’s report from the University of Michigan. However, President Obama is scheduled to meet with lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle to discuss the impending “fiscal cliff” and, depending on the amount of political chest-thumping that could result, the confidence may not last long. The precious complex is mixed this morning. Gold is up .3% and well supported at the moment as current economic conditions lead many to believe that the money-printing by the fed won’t end anytime soon. Platinum is trading up .5% on the back of continued labor issues in South Africa. Palladium is relatively flat in early trading. Have a great day!
Friday, November 9, 2012
Better than expected data out of China in the overnight sessions had investors hopeful of a change in direction following two straight days of declines in equities markets. However, better-than-expected industrial output and retail sales in the world’s #2 economy were not enough to ease concerns about global fiscal woes, particularly the upcoming “fiscal cliff” here in the U.S. The Congressional Budget Office has gone so far as to predict that, should the U.S. go over the edge, the economy could see a drop in GDP of .5% and unemployment over 9% by the end of next year. The precious metals complex is pushing higher in early trading with gold up .5% from yesterday’s close, now trading at $1736. Platinum is the big gainer so far, up nearly 1.5% and now trading at $1565 on the January contract. University of Michigan’s November consumer confidence index will be released later this morning. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 8, 2012
U.S. stock markets reacted to the U.S. presidential election with a steep sell-off as all 3 major U.S. stock indices shed more than 2% on the day. The DJIA cut more than 300 points to end Wednesday’s session below 13,000. Needless to say, gold was well supported and closed yesterday’s session at $1714 and is modestly higher in early trading this morning. However, according to some, this reaction is not all that uncommon following presidential elections. The question is, where do we go from here? With a virtual mirror image of the previous governing body of the U.S. of A, some are skeptical as to whether progress will be made this time around or whether it will be more of the same shenanigans. One thing remains clear, the fiscal cliff is fast approaching and whether we end up the Road Runner or Wile E. Cayote will depend in large part on the ability of both sides of the isle to extend the Olive Branch… with sincerity. Weekly jobless claims here in the U.S. shrunk to 355,000 last week but many are expecting a revision next week as a large swath of the Northeast continues to recover from a one-two punch from mother nature. In Europe, Greece moved one step closer to securing the bailout funds needed to stave-off financial collapse. The country’s ability to pass steep austerity measures has eased concerns, for now, of a “Grexit” from the EU. Have a great day!
Monday, November 5, 2012
The precious complex is moving higher in early morning trading after a sharp sell-off to end last week. The downward momentum across the financial landscape, that was apparent through much of last week, was finally too much to bear on Friday and investors took the opportunity to lock in profits/cut losses and hit the sidelines in preparation for tomorrows U.S. Presidential Election. The Institute for Supply Management will report its service-sector index and more corporate earnings are on tap for the day but none of it really matters as investors are in wait-and-see mode at the moment. After the decision of who will be Commander-in-Chief for the next 4 years, the next big question will surround the “Fiscal Cliff” that is fast approaching. Expect thin trading conditions both today and tomorrow, which could lead to some volatility in the markets. However, until the results of the election are clear we shouldn’t see any significant movement in either direction. Have a great day!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Chinese government’s official PMI data, released overnight, showed the country’s manufacturing sector moving back into expansion mode. The reading came in at 50.2 for the month of October, up from a September reading of 49.8. Any reading above 50 is considered good. While the sentiment boosting data from the world’s #2 economy helped the precious complex maintain yesterday’s end-of-month rally, and even press a bit higher this morning, markets are in wait-and-see mode ahead of tomorrow’s crucial U.S. government jobs data. Other employment data, released earlier this morning, showed planned job cuts jump 41% to 47,724 in October, the private sector added 158K jobs and weekly initial jobless claims fell to 363,000 last week. The deluge of economic data continues with reports on manufacturing, consumer confidence, construction and auto sales throughout the day. Have a great day!