Showing posts with label platinum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label platinum. Show all posts

Migration to Gold increases as Market uncertainty continues

Last Wednesday -- which was the worst day for both the dollar and US equities -- the average price of US Mint-manufactured gold rose to $1952/oz. That's about $130/oz higher than gold futures got that day.

Meanwhile, Gold continues to break all-time records as uncertainty and lost of confidence hammer the U.S. dollar. There were times Gold was even at par or more with Platinum which were never seen before.

Gold dealers on Ebay continue to profit from the market tremors brought by the sudden surge in the prices of precious metals especially with Gold. In demand right now are bullion coins most likely falling from .900 or of higher purity.

Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) expresses that despite the falling value of the dollar, they are still confident with the beleaguered currency as the current dollar reserve rose to %16. Though BSP remained optimistic with the current economy as credit rating agencies upgraded the Philippines credit worth to BB+, changes in the prices of commodities such as oil and wheat have become the headaches of most economist as prices become more unstable and harder to forecast.

Bargain hunters in the Quiapo black market are scouting the area for possible opportunities since local bullion market still takes a while to adjust and effect of the price changes in COMEX is slower. Local auctions are now attended more than ever by precious metal prospectors rather than collectors as more and more players now participate in the trade of precious metals especially with Gold.

Gold soared to $1700 despite U.S. credit downdgrade

Gold soared to record highs above $1,700 an ounce on Monday as an unprecedented downgrade to the U.S. credit rating sent investors scrambling out of riskier assets, hammering equity markets and the dollar.

Both U.S. gold futures and cash gold could rise further if pledges by the Group of Seven nations to support battered financial markets fail to bear fruit as investors turn their attention to the Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee, the FOMC, meeting on Tuesday.

The one notch downgrade by Standard & Poor's of the U.S. long-term rating on Friday added to the threat of contagion from the euro debt crisis, fears over recession in the United States and even the possibility of a third round of U.S. quantitative easing.

Spot gold touched a lifetime high around $1,714 an ounce, its 11th record in 19 sessions -- lifting the price of silver by more than 5 percent. The U.S. December gold contract also hit a record about $1,718 an ounce.

"What people are realizing is that dollar and euro currencies have real problems and I think that's manifesting in the gold price," said Dominic Schnider, an analyst at UBS Wealth Management.

"That's why we increased the gold price to $1,800, but I would say the way things evolve right now I really could even imagine $2,000 being in the cards. The chances have increased that we'll reach $2,000 -- the forecast remains 12-month $1,800, but the risk is that we will actually hit toward $2,000."

Premiums for gold bars were mostly steady as purchases from investors who are worried about the state of the global economy helped the physical market offset pressure from record bullion prices. Premiums for gold bars were at $1 in Hong Kong and 60 cents in Singapore.

Finance chiefs from the world's industrial powers pledged on Sunday to take whatever actions were needed to steady financial markets, spooked by the political wrangling in Europe and the United States over slashing their huge budget deficits.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said U.S. Treasury debt is as safe as it was before the S&P downgrade, urging European leaders to ensure there is an "unequivocal financial backstop" for euro zone governments facing fiscal and debt problems.

"I guess the uncertainty in the financial markets is keeping gold prices underpinned. It's essentially safe-haven buying," said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures.

"One of the events that investors will watch is of course the FOMC meeting that is scheduled Tuesday ... investors will scrutinize the statement on the assessment of the economy and outlook for monetary policy."

Investors are watching for any statement on whether the Fed will ease monetary policy further.

Gold priced in sterling jumped to a record around 1,043 pounds following gains in dollar-priced gold. Bullion priced in euro was also at an all-time high.

Shares tumbled on Monday despite efforts by global policymakers to stem a collapse in investor confidence after S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating, but the euro jumped on hopes the ECB will act to stop Europe's debt crisis from engulfing Italy and Spain.

The lingering economic crisis has been a boon for safe havens like gold, which has risen for six successive weeks and is up 13 percent since the start of July.

Gold, which has gained more than 20 percent this year, had shrugged off data showing the U.S. economy generated 117,000 jobs last month and unemployment fell to 9.1 percent.

The dip in the jobless rate reflected more of a contraction in the size of the work force than an improved employment picture.

"I think troubles in Europe are also undermining markets. Progress in dealing with Europe sovereign debt issues is painfully slow," said Natalie Robertson, a commodities strategist at ANZ.

"But prices are overbought at the moment. If you look at the RSI, it's above the 70 level. If you look at technicals, it could be vulnerable to some profit taking."

Data released by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed managed money in gold futures and options raised their net length to a five-year high in the week up to August 2.

In the energy market, crude fell more than $2 a barrel on Monday on the S&P downgrade.

BSP Monetary Board meanwhile decided to raise key policy rates by 25 basis points for the second consecutive policy meeting in May 2011 as baseline projections indicated that the inflation target for 2011 could be at risk.

The MB noted that while commodity prices had moderated somewhat in recent months, they continued to pose a risk to the inflation outlook given structurally strong demand from emerging economies amid persistent supply constraints. At the same time, the reserve requirements (RR) on deposits and deposit substitutes of all banks and non-banks with quasi-banking functions was raised by one percentage point (ppt) effective 24 June 2011 to prevent possible additional inflationary pressures from excess liquidity. Expectations of continued strong capital inflows, driven by positive market sentiment over the favorable prospects for the Philippine economy, could fuel domestic liquidity growth and add to future inflation risks.

Holy Week Special: The Sacred Money Part II

Holy week or “Mahal na Araw” as we call it, is a very special occasion among Filipino Christians as we recall and dramatize the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Among the traditions that we inherited from the Spaniards is the “pabasa” as a unique practice among the local Christians where the “Passion of Christ” is sang rather than read for the whole day within a week. Famous it is that even our colonizer admires such practice.

This is also a special occasion among the practitioners of witchcraft, faith healing, and holders of talisman as they re-energized their powers and learn more from their peers thru gatherings or conventions that are especially held every Good Friday of the Lenten season. As a numismatist and historian, talisman or anting-anting amulet never fails to amaze me because of its uniqueness and the mystery behind.

The Sacred Money or Agimat is a very unique aspect of numismatic that can only be found in the Philippines. Mostly either made or casted in bronze and brass, and rarely in silver or other precious metals, these amulets mostly appeared during the period of revolution from Spain and Philippine-American War.

Among the amulets, the silver amulets and those made with other precious metals baffle historians and numismatic researchers alike because it appeared from nowhere and neither without recognizable purpose except that it depicts face value in peso. Studying historical records, the denomination was first introduced in the Philippines during the later reign of Queen Isabela II of Spain and it was first introduced in the form of Gold. The “Un Peso” denomination became acceptable in silver as Spain slid in political and economic turmoil during the reign of Alfonso XIII when the one year type “Un Peso” dated 1897 reached the Philippines during the last years of Spain in the colony. Therefore, we know for a fact that these amulets as most historians agree were first struck during that same period.

Some numismatists and local coin dealers suspect that most of these amulets were manufactured in the Southern Tagalog region particularly in Batangas were there were many silver smiths during that period and some even argue that it was minted by several Masonic organizations to commemorate or celebrate an important event. But why most of these bear the dates of 1001, 1770, and 1771?

The date 1001 is particularly significant with the Moslems and not with the Christians particularly made famous by the story “The Arabian Nights”. Meanwhile, the date 1771 was not technically the last minting of the famous coinage “dos mondos” and in relation to the country’s history does not connect to any memorable event of the same year.

In mathematical analysis, 1001 is the first and equal symmetrical number with equal number “1” and “0”. We can even see a distinctive "personality" in these various kinds of number behavior complementing three personality groupings.

The vertical type (based on unconscious specialisation of personality) complements the difference (i.e. of given number and reverse) which is always divisible by 9 (i.e. in base 10).

The horizontal type (based on conscious specialization of personality) complements the sum (i.e. of given number and reverse with even total of digits) which is always divisible by 11.

The diagonal type (based on both conscious and unconscious specialization of personality) complements the difference (i.e. of given number and odd total of digits) which is always divisible by 99.

That will point us to the Holy Family or Sagrada Familia which is always placed either on the reverse of the 1001 or above it. The 1001 therefore is not a date but a representation of psychological and personality perfection.

There are also numerous symbols included in the medal that are foreign in origin like the crossed keys which is the symbol of the Vatican, the Sun’s face which can be found on the coinage of South and Central America like the Rio Plata of Colombia, the crossed-wing Eagle with a snake which is from Mexico, and the Cap and Rays which is also from the same region.

New findings also suggest that these medals / coins were not defaced 8 reales or USPI peso but made and struck out of several distinct dies as suggested by their weights and dimensions. Most of them weighs between 30 to almost 40 grams with measurement ranging from 35 to 42 millimeter making me suspicious otherwise that these amulets were struck using not only of silver but a combination of gold and silver that could have made it heavier than coins of the same size. (to be continued)

Special Report: Philippine Coin prices

Philippine coin prices have been bullish lately due to the extended streak of gains of bullion prices in the world market. However, collectors have not been so intuitive lately that most silver and gold coins escaped much attention as it went to only a handful of local investors.

Street price (Quiapo price) has been used as the pattern for local coins since but due to the crisis brought by several catastrophic events, it has been rendered lately as obsolete as experts predict that climb of bullion metals will become regular and most of the times erratic.

U.S. gold and silver prices extended their gains Wednesday as gold reached a new all-time record high for a second straight day and silver advanced to a fresh 31-year high for a third day. The metals gained on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar and expectations of higher inflation.

June gold prices added $6.00, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $1,458.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold hit an intraday low of $1,452.50 and a high of $1,463.70.

"People are very concerned about inflation, especially with our central bank holding rates so low for so long," Matt Zeman, a market strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "In the eyes of the investing public, Bernanke’s reputation as an inflation fighter is questionable, and you’re seeing people continue to buy precious metals."

Silver prices for May delivery advanced 20.4 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $39.387 an ounce. Silver prices traded between $39.120 and $39.785.

"Yesterday’s release of Fed meeting minutes led market participants to believe that the US central bank’s policymaking members are still divided over the timing of the withdrawal of the stimulus-oriented stance that their institution adopted in the wake of the financial crisis," wrote Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.

"At the same time, a rather disappointing reading in the ISM Services Index for the month of March, added to the woes of the US dollar and reinforced the feeling that the Fed will not be likely to end its QE2 program prior to its end-June expiry. Combine the above with crude oil hovering at or above 2.5 year highs and gold and silver were given the opportunity to rise to new price peaks."

Platinum prices for July delivery edged up $1.00, or 0.1 percent, to $1,797.80 an ounce. Prices ranged from $1,794.40 to $1,816.70.

Palladium prices for June delivery dropped $8.50, or 1.1 percent, to $784.60 an ounce. The metal touched an intraday low of $781.60 and a reached a high of $800.00.

London PM fix bullion prices advanced as compared to their PM fixings on Tuesday.

The PM gold fixing added $28.00 at $1,461.50 an ounce, the silver fix surged $1.55 at $39.630 an ounce, the platinum fixing advanced $21.00 at $1,808.00 an ounce, and the palladium fix jumped $13.50 at $793.50 an ounce.

For a second straight day, the one-ounce American Eagle Gold was the single United States Mint bullion coin to advance. It rose 3,000, the same amount as Tuesday. United States Mint bullion sales figures follow.

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales

April 2011 YTD 2011
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 31,500 295,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 0 21,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 0 38,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 5,000 165,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz) 3,000 41,000
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 658,500 13,087,500

Silver dips to $34 as Global crisis deepens

U.S. gold and silver prices were little changed Monday as gold climbed 0.2 percent and silver dipped 0.3 percent. Platinum and palladium, however, faltered heavily on industrial demand concerns following Japan’s earthquake. The metals fell 1.7 and 2.3 percent, respectively.

April gold prices edged up $3.10 to close at $1,424.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold was traded as low as $1,418.20 and as high as $1,433.50.

"Gold … remains well bid due to all the uncertainty in the world, led by Japan’s possible nuclear meltdown. The Middle East crisis still looms though it is no longer the lead story on the headlines," Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of Heraeus Precious Metals Management, said and was quoted on Reuters.

Silver prices for May delivery retreated 9.5 cents drops to $34.66 an ounce. It ranged between $35.500 and $36.505.

Silver "prices closed near mid-range and saw mild profit-taking pressure. The silver bulls have the strong overall near-term technical advantage," noted Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News. "There are still no early technical clues to suggest a market top is close at hand. Prices are in a steep six-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week’s low of $34.05. Bulls’ next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at last week’s high of $36.745 an ounce."

Platinum prices for April delivery declined $29.40 to close at $1,752.30 an ounce. Prices ranged between $1,739.90 and $1,787.00.

Palladium prices for June delivery fell $17.30 to $748.20 an ounce. It hit an intraday low of $745.45 and a high of $763.55.

London PM fix prices were mixed for precious metals when compared to their previous PM fixings. The gold fix added $10.75 at $1,422.25 an ounce. Silver surged $2.08 at $36.180 an ounce. Platinum lost $15.00 at $1,762.00 an ounce. Palladium fell $2 at $752 an ounce.

The United States Mint did not publish updated sales figures for its bullion coins, although Monday was the launch date for its 2011-dated American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin.

The latest bullion sales figures as provided by the Mint on Friday follow.

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales

March 2011 Totals
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 30,500 233,500
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 4,000 17,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 10,000 28,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 5,000 125,000
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 717,000 10,379,000

Gold hits another record high, Silver just 2.5cents shy of $35

U.S. gold extended its record high for a second straight day on Wednesday. Silver prices reached a fresh 31-year high with its best point just 2.5 cents shy of $35 an ounce.

Investors edgy over inflation and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa sunk their money into safer bets, like gold and silver.

April gold prices advanced $6.50, or 0.5 percent, to close at $1,437.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. It traded from a low of $1,428.20 to a high of $1,441.00. Gold is up 1.1 percent in 2011.

"The bullish breakout to a fresh all-time high has put gold in an outstanding technical position to extend its advance into record territory," Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson said, according to MarketWatch. "The triple top breakout reinforces an already bullish picture and has opened the door to a test of $1,461 an ounce in the short term and $1,634 an ounce by year end."

"You have political problems all over the world, a Federal Reserve bank that still erred on the side of easing rather than tightening, rising commodities prices in general, and growing disdain for fiat currencies generally," Dennis Gartman, author of the Gartman Letter, an daily investment newsletter, said and was quoted on Reuters. "It will be illogical for gold not to be going higher," he said.

Silver prices for May delivery surged 40.8 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $34.835 an ounce — its best closing level since 1980 when prices reached as high as $50.35 an ounce. Silver ranged from $34.35 to $34.975. The metal has risen 12.6 percent this year.

"Tensions in the Middle East, inflation concerns along with the weaker U.S. dollar index are also supporting the silver market. The silver bulls have the strong overall near-term technical advantage," wrote Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News.

"There are no early technical clues to suggest a market top is close at hand. Prices are in a steep five-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $33.00. Bulls’ next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at $36.00 an ounce," added Wyckoff.

Platinum prices for April delivery added $14.20, or 0.8 percent, to $1,859.30 an ounce. It traded as low as $1,829.20 and as high as $1,865.50. Platinum has climbed 4.6 percent in 2011.

Palladium prices for June delivery ended up $5.95, or 0.7 percent, to $822.65 an ounce. Prices ranged from $809.80 to $826.10. Palladium is up 2.4 percent this year.

Gains in earlier London PM fixing prices ranged from 1 percent for gold and platinum to 1.1 percent for silver and palladium.

The PM gold fix price was $1,435.50 an ounce for an increase of $14.75 over its previous PM fixing. Silver was $34.750 an ounce, up 38 cents. The platinum fixing came in at $1,846 an ounce, registering a gain of $18. Palladium was $9 higher at $821.00 an ounce.

Higher precious metals prices appear to be depressing United States Mint bullion coin sales, at least for now. The only gains published by the Mint during the first two days of March are for the one-ounce American Gold Eagles. They rose 6,000 on Wednesday. The latest bullion sales figures from the United States Mint follow.

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales

March 2011 Totals
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 6,000 209,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 0 13,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 0 18,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 0 120,000
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 0 9,662,000

Gold Tops $1,400, Silver at $34, Palladium Plunges

U.S. gold is over $1,400 an ounce and silver prices reached a fresh 31-year high Tuesday as uprisings in the Mideast and North Africa elicited safe-haven buying, opined analysts.

Gains were deeper around the world during the previous day, however, when the key New York market was closed in celebration of President’s Day.

However, despite the quake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand the rally continued but not without Silver breaking record by reaching more than $34 an ounce.

April gold prices advanced $12.50, or 0.9 percent, to $1,401.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices ranged from a low of $1,390.10 an ounce to a high of $1,411.50 an ounce. Gold is still down for the year, however. It has declined 1.4 percent since the $1,421.40 closing price at the end of 2010.

"Bullion prices continue to draw support from ongoing unrest in the Middle East/North Africa region, also (from) a small dollar pullback this afternoon," Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital, was quoted on Reuters. "Safe-haven buying remains the key driver behind the recent rally as players seek to offset currency and sovereign risk."

Silver prices for March delivery jumped 56.6 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $32.862 an ounce. Silver ranged from $32.390 to $34.330 — its highest level since March 1980. While silver had been in the red for most the year until last week, it is now up 6.2 percent in 2011.

"Silver is still relatively attractive compared to gold," James Dailey, who manages about $200 million at TEAM Financial Asset Management LLC in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was cited on Bloomberg. "The more volatile the metal, the better it’s going to perform."

Industrial metals were pounded Tuesday. Platinum and palladium are barely holding on to their gains this year which are now at 0.5 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

Platinum prices for April delivery fell $57, or 3.1 percent, to $1,786.30 an ounce. Prices ranged between $1,785.60 and $1,858.00.

Palladium prices for March delivery plunged $52, or 6.1 percent, to $805.70 an ounce. It ranged from $799.30 to $862.00.

PM London precious metals prices fell across the board. The PM gold fixing was $1,401.00 an ounce, which was $2 lower than the previous PM fix. The London silver fix was $32.890 an ounce for a loss of 54 cents. Platinum declined $26.00 to $1,821.00. The palladium fixing lost $22.00 at $836.00 an ounce.

United States Mint American Silver Eagle bullion coins rallied 777,000 since Friday. They have just topped the 9 million mark in year-to-date sales. No other bullion coins advanced. The latest United States Mint bullion sales figures follow.

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales

February 2011 Totals
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 58,500 189,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 8,000 9,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 16,000 18,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 100,000 120,000
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 2,599,500 9,021,500

Silver breached $33 level, Gold up as Middle East unrest continues

Gold climbed above $1,400 an ounce to the highest price in almost seven weeks in London as unrest in the Middle East and concern inflation will quicken boosted demand. Silver reached a 30-year high on $33 and palladium advanced.

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi called on protesters to engage in dialogue or face a civil war that risks “hundreds of thousands of dead.” In the latest step to curb inflation, China’s central bank said Feb. 18 it would raise reserve requirements for lenders as of Feb. 24 after boosting interest rates earlier this month.

“The mix of Middle Eastern jitters and inflation concerns continues to create a favorable price environment for the precious metals, particularly gold and silver,” James Moore, an analyst at in London, said in a report.

Immediate-delivery bullion added as much as $14.22, or 1 percent, to $1,403.75 an ounce, the highest price since Jan. 4, and was at $1,402.80 at 11:52 a.m. in London. Prices gained for a sixth day, the longest streak since August. The metal for April delivery was 1.1 percent higher at $1,403.30 on the Comex in New York.

Silver for immediate delivery gained as much as 2.7 percent to $33.5175 an ounce, the highest price since March 1980.

Bullion rose to $1,399.50 an ounce in the morning “fixing” in London, used by some mining companies to sell output, from $1,383.50 at the afternoon fixing on Feb. 18.


Gold reached a record $1,431.25 an ounce on Dec. 7. Concern about rising inflation and currency debasement drove prices up 30 percent last year for a 10th annual gain. Rising food and commodity prices have contributed to uprisings in the Middle East.

Libyan security forces yesterday attacked anti-government protesters in Benghazi, the nation’s second-largest city. The North African country has become the focal point of region-wide protests ignited by the ouster of Tunisia’s president last month and energized by the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11. Violence has also flared in Yemen, Djibouti and Bahrain.

“Gold, silver, platinum and palladium are all riding on investor interest against the backdrop of intensifying violence in the Middle East,” said Hwang Il Doo, Seoul-based senior trader with KEB Futures Co. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see gold rising above $1,500 in the coming month.”

Silver advanced to its most expensive level versus gold in 13 years. An ounce of gold bought as little as 41.76 ounces of silver today, the lowest amount since February 1998. Silver has more than doubled in the past year and was last up 2.6 percent at $33.4875 an ounce.

Palladium for immediate delivery in London rose 1 percent to $859.75 an ounce after reaching $861.50, the highest level since February 2001. Platinum was 0.7 percent higher at $1,847.88 an ounce. Comex floor trading in New York is closed today for Presidents’ Day.

Silver jumps to $32, Gold hits 5-week high

U.S. precious metals prices rose Thursday, with gold closing to its best level in five weeks and silver surging to a 31-year high.

April gold prices advanced $10, or 0.7 percent, to $1,385.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York — its best settlement price since January 13. Gold ranged between $1,374.60 and $1,385.00 an ounce. A weaker dollar, concerns over higher US inflation and safe-haven buying due to tensions in the Middle East were among the topics proffered for gains.

"The CPI data showed there is a lot of inflation around now. Certainly, inflation and the concern about the Middle East in general are very supportive factors," Bruce Dunn, vice president at bullion dealer Auramet, was quoted on Reuters.

Gasoline prices rose 3.5 percent in January and climbed 13.4 percent over the past year. Food price were up 0.5 percent in January — their biggest gain in more than two years. They are up 1.8 percent from a year ago. Stripping out the more volatile food and energy prices from the Consumer Price Index, the so-called core inflation rate came in with a relatively mild increase of 1.0 percent in January.

"The core rate is within the Federal Reserve’s guidelines, but most people who trade pay more at the grocery store and the gas station, so it’s hard to tell them inflation is non existent," John Person, president of said and was cited on MarketWatch. "Therefore gold is bid every time we get news of upticks in costs or government spending, both here, Europe and in China."

Another bullish factor for the yellow metal was a World Gold Council report which said that gold investment in China may gain between 40-50 percent this year.

"The main motivation behind this demand has been concern over domestic inflation pressure and poor performance of alternative investments, combined with expectations of further gold price gains," the World Gold Council said Thursday.

Silver prices for March delivery soared 94.1 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $31.570 an ounce. Silver ranged from $30.535 to $31.790 — its highest point since March 1980.

"Silver is playing catch-up to gold and will pull gold higher," Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, was quoted on Bloomberg. "The market has turned its attention to geopolitical fear, food inflation and the Fed not changing its stance."

Platinum prices for April delivery added $9.70, or 0.5 percent, to $1,844.00 an ounce. Prices ranged between $1,823.90 and $1,849.00.

Palladium prices for March delivery gained $4.50, or 0.5 percent, to $843.00 an ounce. It ranged from $833.25 to $847.00.

PM London precious metals prices were mixed. The PM gold fixing was $1,379.00 an ounce, marking an improvement of $7.75 from the previous PM fix. The London silver fix was $30.610 an ounce for a loss of 16 cents. Platinum gained $6.00 to $1,834.00. The palladium fixing declined $1.00 at $839.00 an ounce.

One-ounce United States Mint bullion coins advanced Thursday. The American Gold Eagle coins rose 4,500 and the American Silver Eagle coins added 42,000. The latest United States Mint bullion sales figures follow.

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales

February 2011 Totals
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 43,500 174,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 5,000 6,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 16,000 18,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 100,000 120,000
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 1,772,500 8,194,500

The Platinum Anting-Anting and the Philippine Revolution

Platinum has played a very important role in shaping the history of mankind particularly the world of science and technology. Usage of platinum dates back from the ancient civilization of Egypt and the Roman Empire. However due to the rarity and isolation of the metal unlike that of gold and silver, it can only be found in the history of the western civilization, and in modern times can only be mined either in South Africa or the Ural mountains of Russia. So rare that it is 30 times rare than gold and so scarce that if the entire platinum in the world is gathered inside an Olympic-size swimming pool, it would barely reach an ankle.

Asia has no particular episode in its history where it was indicated that the metal was used except during the early part of the 20th century or before World War II broke out.

In some occasion during the occupation of Spain, some gold coins intended for monetary circulation in the Philippines. Spanish counterfeiters used platinum to counterfeit gold coins because of its high density and its closeness of weight with gold.

Platinum was never considered by the Spaniards as valuable metal because of its high melting point and high-resistant to heat which made it an unqualified candidate for minting coins.

In the Philippines, platinum has never become a subject nor has never been identified as part of any period of its history except for several rumors that the metal was secretly smuggled to the Philippines by the Japanese Imperial forces during World War II. Nonetheless, treasure hunters have pursued this rare metal with no particular evidence of success except for more rumors and tall tales.

Recently, an amulet or "anting-anting" entirely different from any other amulet surfaced and was accidentally discovered. Rarely that a white anting-anting has ever been produced nor have been encountered at all. So different that it was initially thought as made of stainless steel. Its size is exceptional with a diameter of 55 mm and about a millimeter thick.

First, I was hesitant to write an article about it and introduce this to the public since I was not really sure what it is. After making some test and analysis, the amulet was found to be made of platinum.

The discovery of this metal as being thought to have been absent in the history of the Philippines has significantly altered what we know about our past, particularly the period of "The Revolution" between the end of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century.

According to our history, anting-anting or amulets were worn by the Katipuneros during the revolution to give them strength and protect them from the bullets of the Spaniards. Under equipped and without armors nor shield to repel projectiles, these amulets served (as they believed)as the source of their unusual power and strength.

The inscription written on the amulet is Latin though some of the words seems to be borrowed Latin or pidgin. The formation and arrangement of symbols are masonic while in some part of the amulet coded messages that could represent direction or maps can be seen.

Whatever is written on this amulet is another mystery to solve while its discovery will now definitely create a major impact in the rich history of the Filipino people. Instead of answering a puzzle, this piece of artifact now baffles the world of antiquities and even numismatic. Where did this piece come from? Who made it? Who wore it? And more questions, which I myself still has no answer.

Gold passed $1020, Silver at $17, & Platinum $1340

Last summer was by far remembered as the peak of the price of precious metals when gold reached a record level together with silver and platinum. A year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it seem that the prediction made of Peter Schiff that gold may reached $2000 is still around the corner.

Gold climb again to $1020 level and gained at least 16$ in 24 hours as silver surpassed $17 after falling to less than $10 at the beginning of the year. Rumors about China buying the all the gold it could purchase after its government has allowed its companies to walk away from their obligation from US companies. China has been reported to have stockpiled 1000 tonnes of gold due to the suppression of the price of gold for last year.

Analyst and author of the famous book "Crashproof", Peter Schiff otherwise believe that the recession in the United States has not yet ended and the beleaguered superpower is facing a much tougher future due to the massive debt, expenditures, and bailouts it did.

Ben Bernanke was even cautious when he announced today that the recession has finally ended but retracted the optimism by adding that the repercussions would still be experienced.

The weak dollar and several discreet trade agreements between the major global players of the world aggravate the rumor that the fate of the dollar has already been sealed. "The USD would soon be replaced by basket of currencies, and the monopoly of the USD would soon be over." one analyst commented.

Meantime, supply of coins minted out of precious metals continue to decline which simply proves that most holders are already anticipating that the fruit of their patience may soon be realized by another huge climb.

Speculators forecast Gold May Rise on Demand for Dollar Alternative

Gold may extend its rally for a second straight week as the slumping dollar boosts demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

Twenty-one of 28 traders, investors and analysts surveyed from Tokyo to Chicago on March 19 and March 20 advised buying gold, which rose 2.8 percent last week to $956.20 an ounce in New York. Five said to sell, and two were neutral.

Last week, the dollar dropped 4.8 percent against the euro, the most since December. Investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, has jumped 41 percent this year to a record.

Most traders surveyed on March 12 and March 13 have expected gold’s gain last week. The survey has forecast prices accurately in 151 of 254 weeks, or 59 percent of the time.

Platinum already broke $1100 level while Silver is steady at the $13 mark for the meantime. Precious metal prices have been volatile for these past weeks, even though investors ascertained that still, these are the safest investments in the time of depression.

Rumors are spreading that the dollar is beginning to exhibit weakness amid peculation that it may no longer claim the title as the world's top reserve currency.

The returning gold barter

After posing as one of the most wealthy and promising African nations, Zimbabwe fell to its knees brought by massive inflation, civil and political unrest, and dictatorship.

Recently, the country made records by the issuance of denominations only equivalent with that of the Weimar Republic when Germany itself once succumbed with the crippling inflation. Zimbabwe's currency crisis held the country's literally chaotic that even computers and automated teller machines (ATM) where rendered useless by digits added on a daily basis.

Inflation is on a massive scale that the government issues new denominations every now and then.

Now, the current situation made the people abandon the fiat currency and returned to gold barter. People are piling-up on river banks to pan for gold in exchange for food and other basic commodities.

"A 0.1 gram of gold can buy a tin can of rice, enough to feed an entire family for a meal. Everything is price in gold." one local claimed.

"A family need 0.3 gram of gold to survive." he added.

"The Global Financial crisis brought one of the unpredictable move on the paper market but the value of precious metal will continue to rise as people began to realize the flaw and start to lose trust the financial system.

Gold rose, Silver back on the $13 level

After brief and swift dives, Gold, Silver, and Platinum are up for a third straight day on speculation the recession will deepen, boosting the appeal of the precious metal as a store of value. Silver is back on the $13 level.

Even the Dow surge to the 7000 mark as bank stocks like HSBC (HongKong & Shanghai Banking Corporation) concluded the week with a better outcome.

“Gold continues to resist any sustained decline, bouncing back quickly from any minor sell off,” said Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day’s Asset Management in Annapolis, Maryland. “The fly in the ointment could be a sustained and strong, broad global stock-market rally which would calm some investors’ fears. There is little prospect of this on more than a short-term basis in my view, so we continue to be buyers on any dips.”

Gold futures for April delivery rose $6.10, or 0.7 percent, to $930.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price rose 3.1 percent in the previous two sessions. The metal is still down 1.3 percent this week.

Silver futures for May delivery climbed 27.2 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $13.215 an ounce. While the price fell 0.9 percent this week, it is still up 17 percent this year.

Gold’s gains were limited as the S&P headed for the biggest weekly increase since November, curbing investor demand for alternatives to owning equities. Earlier, the price slipped as low as $919.60.

The decline was a buying opportunity for investors who has been purchasing gold this week as the metal dropped to a one-month low $891.10 on March 10.

Gold may also benefit as an alternative to currencies. The Swiss National Bank said yesterday it was selling the franc, undermining the currency’s haven status.

China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said he is “worried” about his country’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries and wants assurances that the investment is safe. China is the biggest holder of U.S. debt.

“Should China or some other significant buyer of U.S. debt announce that they will no longer buy U.S. debt unless denominated in a non-U.S. dollar currency, gold is going to the moon,” said Tom Winmill, president of New York-based Midas Management Corp.

In 2008, Treasuries returned 14 percent while gold gained 5.5 percent as investors sought a haven from financial turmoil. Treasuries slumped 2.9 percent this year through yesterday. (quotes from Bloomberg)

MILF Official urged Goverment to cease mining permit issuance

A high official of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) demanded that MalacaƱang should stop issuing mining permits in any area under the proposed Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) pending the outcome of the peace talks.

The MILF proposes the BJE to be the governing body consolidating the areas which the government and MILF peace panels may agree to unify together as a sole recognized Muslim homeland in the South.

Peace talks between the government and the MILF began on Jan. 7, 1997, but gained headway only in 2003 with the help of Malaysia as mediator.

In a statement, Datu Jun Mantawil, secretariat chief of the MILF peace panel, urged President Arroyo and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza to freeze all applications for mining permits in areas inside the proposed BJE.

Mantawil commented that any positive action from Mrs. Arroyo and Atienza will help restore the credibility of the 10-year-old peace process, often shaken by misunderstandings on how both sides are to establish a Muslim homeland which the MILF wants to govern.

Mantawil said indiscriminate mining operations in the South may just leave the BJE with nothing to wisely exploit as source of income to sustain a strong, economically sound Moro community.

"What will happen to BJE if all the gold, silver, copper and other natural resources are consumed?" he asked.

Many areas in the proposed BJE, including the provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are known to have vast deposits of precious stones, metals, minerals and natural gas.

Mantawil said one of the areas that the MILF wants protected from encroachment by big mining firms is the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Marsh, a vast delta surrounded by the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan and North Cotabato.

The Liguasan Marsh is renowned for its scientifically surveyed oil and natural gas deposits.

"Spare the remaining natural resources for the sake of our people and not those of the huge multinational companies and their local contacts whose interests do not necessarily jibe with the interest of the masses," Mantawil said.

He did not say whether the MILF would work for the removal of existing mining ventures in the region.

Foreign reserves up on higher gold prices, govt loans

The recent climb of gold and the national government’s dollar loan proceeds increased the Philippines’ foreign exchange reserves last month, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

The Bangko Sentral recently reported through their website that the Philippines gross international reserves (GIR) went up by 0.26 percent to $39.3 billion as of end- February from $39.2 billion the previous month.

The current dollar reserves are enough to to cover 5.9 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income.

The increase was the result of the national government’s deposits of loan proceeds from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and higher prices of BSP gold holdings, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco said.

Inflows from the BSP’s net foreign exchange operations aside from revaluation gains in the gold holdings on higher gold prices in the international market in February helped beef up GIR.

"These inflows were partly offset by payments of maturing foreign exchange obligations of the NG and the BSP," Tetangco added.

Net international reserves (NIR) – which is the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities – is up by 1.59 percent month-on-month to $38.3 billion from $37.7 billion. NIR includes revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities.

Gold & Other Precious Metals climb on Opening Day Trading

After some setbacks last week Gold, Silver, & Platinum are again at a bullish move on the opening day trading. Gold climb almost $10 at the first hour amid reports that financial giant AIG is about to receive another $30 billion stimulus from the Obama administration.

'I'm not affected by the sudden shift on the news, I still prefer gold over other investments." one investor said.

In local news, Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas filed with the Department of Justice charges of syndicated estafa involving P1 billion (one billion pesos) against Celso G. delos Angeles, Jr., and other officers of the Legacy Group and affiliated companies. Named as respondents for syndicated estafa defined and penalized under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Presidential Decree No. 1689 are the following:

Mr. Celso delos Angeles, Jr. (CDA)
Mr. Alexis Petralba, Consultant of Mr. Celso delos Angeles
Ms. Namnama Pasetes, Chief Finance Officer of Legacy Consolidated Plan, Inc. (LCPI)
Ms. Carolina Hinola, Chief Executive Officer of LCPI
Mr. Roy Hilario, President of Fusion Capital Corporation
Mr. Bruce Rafanan,Mr. Hilario’s assistant
Mr. Virgilio Odejar, President of Rural Bank of Paranaque
“John Doe’s and Jane Doe’s ”

The BSP also requested the DOJ that the respondents be included in the watchlist of the Bureau of Immigration.

The criminal schemes conceived and hatched by Mr. delos Angeles himself were used to swindle the public and to siphon funds from the Rural Bank of DARBCI, a rural bank with offices in General Santos City and Cebu City. The BSP said that while records as of 30 September 2008 indicate that RB DARBCI had P830 million in deposits raised from the public, its cash position was less than P1 million as of the same date.

The cases were filed as BSP’s investigations uncovered massive diversion of funds by said banks using fictitious loans. During the validation process, many of the bank’s borrowers denied having obtained loans from the closed banks while others admitted having signed blank documents in consideration of commission fees ranging from P10,000 to P15,000 for supposed loans amounting to millions of pesos. The BSP also discovered that falsified documents were used to support alleged loans. Public documents falsified included Mayor’s Permits and Department of Trade & Industry Registration Certificates. In effect, the fictitious loans were used to siphon money from the banks.

Meanwhile, authorities are on a lookout for a stolen monstrance made of silver and gold from the altar of the San Juan Bautista in Tiling village in Cauayan town in Negros Occidental. Local antique dealers are encouraged to report to authorities in case similar religious relics are being offered for sale.

Despite Gold's setback, Local Pawnshops flourish

goldThe setback in the price of precious metals have suddenly caused some analysts to wonder about the real trend. As soon as Jim Kramer, the host of CNBC's Mad Money made a recommendation about buying and investing in gold, and after Rick Santelli made a bullish statement about the metal's future, gold and other precious metals have started declining.

"If Kramer has predicted it, I'll do the opposite! I think the price of gold and other precious metals will eventually return to its upward trend after some minor corrections. Even so, I consider this setback as an opportunity to stack-up some more." one bullion trader commented.

Meanwhile, local pawnshops are flourishing amid the global financial crisis due to the rise on the number of borrowers desperate to raise needed cash for their daily needs. Pawnshop owners and lenders have reported that the increase of customers was due the rising unemployment and deteriorating economic conditions due to the rise of cost of living.

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Local authorities have again warned the public that smaller denominations such as 10 and 5 centavo coins should be spent and accepted by the local communities in order to avoid further inflation. "Hoarding or disregarding these coins means further lost to the current purchasing power of the peso and to productivity since our government allocate funds for the production and circulation of these coins." a BSP official explained.

Gold, Silver, & Platinum fell despite Investor's confidence

Gold fell to $900 level after President Obama and FED Chairman made statements that the United States recovery will already be realized within the year of 2009. Despite the confidence of Obama in his speech before the officials, cabinet members, and legislators in Washington, several analyst are in doubt whether the stimulus package can revive the ailing American economy.

Silver and Platinum also dropped, yet Silver remained constantly closed to the $14 level as market confidence sunk to one of lowest level in years.

Meanwhile local mining companies are bullish on shifting to gold production, Philex Mining Corp., the Philippines’ largest mining company, is now more focused on producing Gold than copper as the precious metal hits $1,000 per ounce.

With gold prices prices recovering from slump and copper costs falling to record lows – owing to “declining demand in the US and European housing and automobile industries," values of the company’s concentrate shipments have recently reversed.

“The company’s latest export now indicate that gold accounts for 72 percent of the concentrates’ value while copper accounts for only 28 percent," Philex said in a statement.

Gold values in Philex’s concentrate shipments have consistently outstripped copper values since the last quarter of last year, the company said.

“This trend is expected to remain as the world recession continues to hit the entire developed world and has begun to spill over into the developing world," the company said.

Besides being considered as a safe investment haven, gold is also considered as hedge against inflation, a commodity whose prices rise as major currencies fall. The precious metal “has been testing new price highs while copper, which is very dependent on housing and automobile markets have seen prices decline by more than half since its highs in 2008," the company said.

“Thus, Philex is a good “natural hedge" against base metal prices because gold prices are expected to stay up during this financial crisis and as the financial crisis subsides, gold prices are expected to soften while copper prices will firm up as the world recovers from depression," the company added.

Currently, the company is drilling and developing only gold properties and copper deposits with gold values (in dollars per ton of ore) higher than the dollar value of the copper in the ore. These gold/copper projects take at least three years to develop.

The company’s board recently declared a stock dividend of 25 percent to be presented for shareholders’ approval at the special meeting to be held on April 21, 2009.

Shares of Philex fell P0.30 to P5.10 during Wednesday’s trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Gold Rally Paused, US Mint Sales Up

bullion sales
When it seems that Gold is on the track for a bullish run, the move has become apparently stagnant as terrible financial news cloud the market. Rumors about bank nationalization has been circulating in Wall Street amid the decline of stocks of financial giants Citigroup & Bank of America.

Newly elected president Obama admitted on his speech that the previous government of president Bush left the current administration with $1.3 Trillion dollar deficit. The news immediately struck the charts of Wall Street which send the Dow Jones plunging more than 250 points.

Silver has the modest gain among the precious metals registering 44 cents increase in a single day trading and almost touching the $15 mark. While trading in the precious metal sector seem showing the sign of volatility, experts believe that it is because of the intervention by bankers which caused the temporary pause of gold. However, most of them agree that gold has finally lose grip from the financial and is now moving independently.

Meanwhile, U.S mint reported sales on bullion coins skyrocketed to 92,000 ounces four times more than the sale from the previous year.

Investors are purchasing record amounts of gold bars and coins, shunning risky assets for the relative safety of bullion amid renewed fears about the health of the global financial system.