Silver And Gold Remain Near Record Highs As Greek And Portuguese Debt Hammered

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From GoldCore

Silver is higher against all currencies today and remains near
yesterday’s 31 year high of $36.75/oz. Gold is slightly higher against
most currencies, especially the Swiss franc and euro.

 

GoldCore

While most of the focus continues to be on North Africa and the Middle
East, the not inconsequential matters of the European sovereign debt
crisis and the US’ dire fiscal situation continue to bubble away
beneath the radar.

 

GoldCore

Greek and Portuguese bonds have taken another hammering this morning.
The Greek 10-Year yield has surged to 12.44% (TD: make that 12.764%), up another 35 basis
points today alone, and Portuguese 10-Year has surged to 7.58% (TD: make that 7.66%), another
22 basis points. The recent “bailouts” and failure to properly
restructure the debt shows that the sovereign debt crisis is far from
contained.

The US recorded its biggest monthly deficit in history yesterday
with a $223 billion deficit for February alone, the 29th straight month
of deficits – a modern record. This does not bode well for the
beleaguered dollar and could result in further sharp falls in the value
of the dollar.

 

GoldCore

The dollar is increasingly out of favour with traders and central
banks internationally and the real risk of a US debt crisis could see
the dollar’s reserve currency status challenged sooner than even the
more bearish dollar bears expect.

Lloyds TSB's Assetwatch survey finds gold and silver beat all other
assets in 2010 due to investors looking to “protect the value of their
investments amid the renewed uncertainty over the global economic
outlook including the debt concerns in the eurozone and rising
inflation.”

Gold

Gold is trading at $1,434.21/oz, €1,029.73/oz and £886.46/oz.

Silver

Silver is trading at $36.36/oz, €26.10/oz and £22.47/oz.

Platinum Group Metals

Platinum is trading at $1,800.95/oz, palladium at $780.00/oz and rhodium at $2,350/oz.

News

(Financial Times) -- Silver prices rise by 80% (Lloyds TSB Precious Metals ‘Top Investment’)
Precious metals were the top performing investment for the second
consecutive year, after their value jumped by 42 per cent as people
sought a safe haven from inflation, according to new research published
by Lloyds TSB on Monday.

It is the fourth time in the past five years that precious metals
have topped the tables for the best asset class, as continuing
uncertainty over the prospects for the global economy pushed people into
buying gold, silver and platinum.

The value of precious metals has risen by 365 per cent over the past
decade, nearly double the increase for the next best performing asset
during the same period - residential property, which made a gain of 198
per cent.

Silver outperformed the other precious metals in 2010 with prices
rising by 80 per cent, more than two and a half times the increase in
gold prices and four times the 20 per cent rise in the value of
platinum.

As well as being seen as a safe haven investment, pressures on the
supply side and high demand for industrial uses contributed to the
strong rise in the price of silver, said Lloyds TSB.

Commodities were the second best performing asset class during 2010
returning 30 per cent, while they were the third best during the past
decade, with a 176 per cent increase in value.

This outperformance has continued into 2011, driven by a 38 per cent
jump in the price of cotton since the start of the year, driven by a
combination of increasing demand from Asia and greater supply side
pressures as flooding affected some of the major cotton producing
countries.

All nine asset classes produced a positive return during the past
year, although people who held their money in cash would have seen it
rise by just 0.6 per cent, while residential property did little better
with a gain of 1.2 per cent.

UK shares and commercial property both returned 14.5 per cent, while
the value of international shares increased by 10.6 per cent.

Suren Thiru, economist at Lloyds TSB, said: “Going forward, the
level of demand from emerging economies, particularly from China and
India, is likely to remain an important determinant of many assets
prices as well as the pace at which the global economic recovery
continues.”

Asset Class Returns, Dec 2009-Dec 2010

(Press Association) -- Precious metals 'top investment'
Precious metals were the top performing investment for the second
consecutive year during 2010 with their value soaring by 42% as people
sought a safe haven from inflation, research indicates.

It is the fourth time in the past five years that precious metals
have topped the tables for the best asset class, as continuing
uncertainty over the prospects for the global economy caused investors
to flock to gold, silver and platinum, according to Lloyds TSB.

The value of precious metals has surged by 365% during the past 10
years, nearly double the increase for the next best performing asset
during the same period - residential property, which made a gain of
198%.

The steep increase in precious metal prices seen during 2010 was
driven by silver, with its value jumping by 80%, significantly
outstripping the 29% rise in the price of gold and the 20% increase for
platinum.

The group said the price of silver had been boosted by pressure on
the supply of the metal, as demand remained high from both investors
and industries which use it.

Commodities were the second best performing asset class during 2010,
offering returns of 30%, while they were the third best during the past
decade, with a 176% increase in value.

They were also the best performing asset during the first two months
of 2011, driven by a 38% jump in the price of cotton since the start
of the year, due to a combination of rising demand from Asia and
falling supply as some of the major cotton producing countries were hit
by flooding.

All nine asset classes produced a positive return during the past
year, although people who held their money in cash would have seen it
rise by just 0.6%, while residential property did little better with a
gain of 1.2%.

UK shares and commercial property both returned 14.5%, while the value of international shares increased by 10.6%.

Suren Thiru, economist at Lloyds TSB, said: "Going forward, the
level of demand from emerging economies, particularly from China and
India, is likely to remain an important determinant of many assets
prices as well as the pace at which the global economic recovery
continues."

(Telegraph) -- 'There Is a Danger That People Are Buying Gold Now When Prices Are Overheated'
Following a spectacular 10-year bull run, some say buying gold has become too risky for private investors.

Patrick Connolly, of the financial adviser AWD Chase de Vere, said:
"There continue to be bullish statements and bold predictions about gold
and the assumption that the returns seen over the past decade are now
the norm. There were similar sentiments in 1999 about technology
stocks, and the belief that the only way was up."

As he pointed out, there is a real danger that this could be a "gold
bubble", and when prices do fall – which they will at some point – the
correction could be far sharper and last longer than many people
expect. He added: "It's easy to forget that gold prices can go through
prolonged downturns. During the Eighties and Nineties, the price of gold
fell by 70pc."

Although gold is a good inflation hedge over the long term, this
isn't always the case over shorter, more realistic time frames over
which the typical investor is more likely to hold the asset. If you
bought gold in the Eighties, for example, it hasn't proved to be the
most effective hedge against inflation since then. If it had kept pace
with prices, it would now be worth about $2,600 an ounce.

Martin Bamford, a chartered financial planner with Informed Choice,
said: "Investors are understandably concerned about inflation at
present. But there is a real risk that those now buying gold are doing
so at the top of the market and will end up making losses when prices
fall."

He added that investors should remember that gold does not produce
any income, in terms of either interest or dividends, so returns are
based solely on capital growth. He said: "It can also be difficult to
access as an asset class: many people end up buying funds that are
largely invested in mining stocks, which don't always reflect gold
prices accurately."

Other options include buying gold bullion or coins, or investing in
an exchange-traded fund (ETF), which basically follows the price of
gold.

Mr Bamford said: "I'd be wary about getting into gold at present.
The price may still rise further, but the gains are unlikely to be so
significant. When prices fall, it is those who got in near the end who
will suffer the biggest losses."

He added that there were also investment costs to consider, such as
the cost of storing, trading and insuring bullion, or dealing charges
on ETFs. "A diversified investment portfolio, containing shares,
property and bonds, may be a better way to protect against inflation,"
Mr Bamford said.

"And about a third of the stocks in the FTSE 100 are
commodity-related stocks, whose performance will be correlated to gold
prices. There is a danger that people are buying now when prices are
overheated and becoming overexposed to one asset class."

Discover the top-selling ISAs and get 0% commission when you order online with Telegraph ISA-fund Supermarket.

(Coin News) -- US Mint Reviews Product Pricing for Silver Coins and Sets
The United States Mint is reviewing the pricing of its products due to
soaring silver prices, according to a US Mint official. Sales of at
least one of its sets have been suspended until the review process is
complete.

The Mint currently has a pricing policy in place for its numismatic
gold coins. Based on it and the prevailing cost of gold, the US Mint
may adjust collector gold coin prices weekly. It does not have a
similar pricing system in place for its numismatic silver products.

"Recently, the market price of silver has risen substantially. As a
result, the United States Mint is reviewing the prices of current
products containing silver to make sure the market value of the silver
contained in them is not now higher than the cost of the products
themselves," US Mint spokesman Michael White said on Monday.

A recent CoinNews.net article noted how 31-year high silver prices
have resulted in exploding silver coin values. On Friday, coins like
the 1964 quarter had a melt value of $6.39. The 2010 America the
Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set was valued at $31.95, which was
only $1 less than its US Mint pricing.

On Monday the precious metal surged as high as $36.75 an ounce,
bringing the 1964 quarter’s melt value to an astounding $6.98. The
set’s melt value went up to $33.23, which is above the original US Mint
pricing for the product. It is this set which the US Mint has
suspended, presumably to raise its price at some point. Customers who
visit its product page at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog will now see a Mint message saying "the product is temporarily unavailable."

As of this writing, all 2011-dated products are still available.
These products were already priced substantially higher than 2010-dated
issues in response to silver which soared nearly 84 percent last year.
Obviously, their prices could go higher if the metal continues its
streak of gains.

(Zero Hedge) -- No Silver? No Problem: US Mint Would Like To
Know If You Will Accept Brass, Steel, Iron Or Tungsten Coins Instead

United States Mint Seeks Public Comment on Factors to be Considered in
Research and Evaluation of Potential New Metallic Coinage Materials

WASHINGTON - The United States Mint today announced that it is
requesting public comment from all interested persons on factors to be
considered in conducting research for alternative metallic coinage
materials for the production of all circulating coins.

These factors include, but are not limited to, the effect of new
metallic coinage materials on the current suppliers of coinage
materials; the acceptability of new metallic coinage materials,
including physical, chemical, metallurgical and technical
characteristics; metallic material, fabrication, minting, and
distribution costs; metallic material availability and sources of raw
metals; coinability; durability; sorting, handling, packaging and
vending machines; appearance; risks to the environment and public
safety; resistance to counterfeiting; commercial and public acceptance;
and any other factors considered to be appropriate and in the public
interest.

The United States Mint is not soliciting suggestions or
recommendations on specific metallic coinage materials, and any such
suggestions or recommendations will not be considered at this time. The
United States Mint seeks public comment only on the factors to be
considered in the research and evaluation of potential new metallic
coinage materials.

The recently enacted Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity
Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-302) gives the United States Mint research
and development authority to conduct studies for alternative metallic
coinage materials. Additionally, the new law requires the United States
Mint to consider certain factors in the conduct of research,
development, and solicitation of input or work in conjunction with
Federal and nonfederal entities, including factors that the public
believes the United States Mint should consider to be appropriate and
in the public interest.

(Bloomberg) -- Gartman Jumps Back Into Gold; Selling Was ’A Mistake’
Newsletter writer, fund manager Dennis Gartman reinstating gold positions he sold last week;

“Our little experiment on the sidelines did not work.”

Long again of gold in euro, yen and dollar terms.

Weaker dollar more supportive of commodity prices generally.

"We congratulate those who have the wisdom or the temerity to have
remained bullish of gold’’, sold when gold was ~$1,432, it’s at $1,442
today.

Says sold gold following his trading rules; would do so again.