Author Archives: Everett Millman

gold bars and gold coins

Gold Price Notches 4-Week High

May 26th, 2017 by

In defiance of a number of encouraging economic data points coming out on Friday, the gold price held onto its overnight gains, trading about $11 per ounce higher this morning around $1,267/oz.

Spot silver gained more than 20¢ an ounce to $17.33/oz, while platinum and palladium were each up well over 1%.

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10oz-platinum-bar

New Tech, Products Shake Up Platinum

May 25th, 2017 by

Among the four precious metals, platinum is often overlooked even though it’s generally in close price parity to gold. This is because platinum is rarer, lacks gold’s unique properties that make it the easiest metal to work with, and thus has a much small global market.

Nonetheless, it’s also a highly useful industrial metal. Its fortunes are closely aligned with automobile sales, as platinum (and palladium) are key inputs for the devices that reduce exhaust pollutants, catalytic converters. Heavy investment in catalytic converters and similar technology, especially by pullution-riddled China, are a growing source of demand for platinum in industry.

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Spot Gold Flat on Fed Day

May 24th, 2017 by

custom-fed-sealAll eyes were trained on the release of the Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes from earlier this month on Wednesday. The minutes are scheduled to be made public right at 2 pm EST this afternoon, as usual, and will surely be followed by sundry and varied commentary from Fed officials in the following hours.

The gold price was down modestly again overnight before bouncing back to $1,253/oz Wednesday morning. Gold lost nearly $10 per ounce toward the end of trading yesterday and has yet to make up the ground. After moving far less than gold and silver during yesterday’s session, the Platinum Group Metals once again remained largely unchanged. Spot silver was also essentially flat, up about 3¢ per ounce to $17.08/oz.

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Financial Markets Outlook for 2017

May 23rd, 2017 by

More than anything else, the best way to characterize the global markets this year is a persistent relative calm with only intermittent “hiccups.” These hiccups repeatedly seem like the first salvos of a correction, yet have just as reliably turned out to be merely transient (as the Fed is fond of saying of various risks).

Nonetheless, an array of risks to the markets remain in place, if perhaps overlooked by the inundating flow of news and intrigue out of Washington. We’ll look at some of the key factors driving—or distorting—the global economy in the near-term as we charge full bore into the Trump era.

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Copyright: zabelin / 123RF Stock Photo

Gold Slightly Higher After U.K. Attack

May 23rd, 2017 by

Global markets were a bit shaky on Tuesday after a concert in Manchester, U.K. by pop star Ariana Grande was marred by an ISIS bombing that killed at least 22 people, including children, last night. The so-called Islamic State took credit for the horrific attack.

Undoubtedly, everyday life in the U.K. was disrupted as the lost innocent lives are being mourned. The best hope is for a return to some semblance of normalcy.

With safe-haven fears of course cropping up in the wake of the bombing, gold prices rose about 0.2% higher to $1,262/oz in early trading this morning. Spot silver gained 13¢ per ounce to trade at $17.27/oz. Both platinum and palladium were about 0.75% higher.

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coins in jar

Here’s How Congress Might Reform Our Coins

May 22nd, 2017 by

There is a problem that has been hanging over the American coinage system like a dark pall for about the past decade. With each passing year, the scale of the problem grows worse, but philosophical traditions and interest groups have made resolving the issue a challenge for Congress.

U.S. capitol dome

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. [License: CC-BY-SA 3.0]

Now, two pieces of legislation aim to change our money in fundamental ways. Will our lawmakers finally take a step toward fixing our coins, or will the issue once again die at the hands of lobbyists?

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falling-dollar

Gold Price Rises on Weak Dollar

May 22nd, 2017 by

The precious metals opened slightly higher on Monday morning thanks in no small part to a softer U.S. dollar. Spot gold was up modestly in early trading to $1,258/oz while silver prices gained 1% to cross back above the $17/oz threshold. Platinum prices were flat at about $940/oz but palladium bucked the trend, tumbling about 1% to $750/oz, its lowest in nearly four months.

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Kansas May Exempt Precious Metals from Sales Tax

May 21st, 2017 by

With each passing month, the momentum in favor of reviving the use of gold and silver as money seems to build. An idea that has largely been panned as an untenable, fringe position when espoused by former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul is now being enacted by one state legislature after another.

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Copyright: rrraven / 123RF Stock Photo

Commerzbank Ditches Precious Metals Division

May 20th, 2017 by

Commerzbank is a German bank that carries a fair amount of international clout. It is Germany’s largest lender, its second-largest bank by assets, and, more so than its beleaguered neighbor Deutsche Bank, enjoys a strong reputation around the world.

Now, Commerzbank is unexpectedly scrapping its precious metals business to focus more on other departments of the company.

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Spot Gold Trades Above Support

May 19th, 2017 by

Friday morning saw the precious metals claw back some of ground that was ceded on Thursday due to profit-taking. Spot gold traded about $6 per ounce higher (+0.5%) to hover around $1,253/oz. Spot silver was 23¢ higher (+1.4%) to trade at $16.80/oz.

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watching-yellen

Yes, Trump Could Fire Yellen

May 18th, 2017 by

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you probably know that the White House has stirred up a great deal of controversy after President Trump surprisingly sacked James Comey, the Director of the FBI. The fallout from this decision, which was seen as impeding the Bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged connections to Russia, has still yet to clear. If anything, the situation has only gotten cloudier.

The Russian investigation aside, this decision could have implications for the Federal Reserve, which has long been in Trump’s crosshairs as an institution ripe for criticism and potential reform. Could the head of the Fed, Chair Janet Yellen, meet the same fate as Comey under President Trump?

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Gold Price Surges on White House Turmoil

May 17th, 2017 by

pile-of-gold-rally

The risk-on attitude that has weighed on the precious metals the past few weeks seems to finally have been lifted on Wednesday, as gold broke out of its slump in a big way during early trading. Spot gold surged above $1,250/oz for the first time in two weeks, gaining more than $15 per ounce to trade around $1,253 per ounce. The silver price followed not far behind, adding about 0.65% to approach the $17/oz threshold.

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gold-investigation

BUYER BEWARE: NFC Microchip Bullion

May 16th, 2017 by

gold-investigation

There’s a troubling trend in the bullion investing community that could have major consequences for those who own gold and silver. Yet this development is being pitched as the next great innovation in bullion security.

Many investors may unwittingly be duped into disclosing exactly how much gold they have, and where it’s stored, all because of security microchips that utilize near field communication (NFC) tags.

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Gold Price Runs With Bulls

May 15th, 2017 by

gold_bull_up

The early signal on Monday morning was that the bulls in the gold market had taken the upper hand in the trade, as prices for the precious metals rose thanks to a modest impetus from the outside markets.

Spot gold was $8 per ounce higher to $1,235/oz when markets opened in New York, while spot silver gained more than 30¢ (2% higher) to about $16.80/oz. Platinum and palladium also posted solid gains of 2% and 1.5%, respectively.

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LBMA Plans Gold Bar Disclosure

May 14th, 2017 by

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) administers the world’s largest physical gold market, and is heavily involved in certifying or authenticating the gold that trades in the City of London. Each day, a staggering $18 billion worth of gold traded in London during March (when the most recent data is available).

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Rare Gold Coin Collection Donated to University

May 13th, 2017 by

The Dahlonega Mint was a short-lived (1838 to 1861) branch facility of the U.S. Mint located in Georgia. Its service was eventually cut short by the Civil War. At the time of its opening, there was a mini gold rush occurring in the mountains of Dahlonega, which is actually the word for “yellow money” in the Cherokee language.

Because of low mintage totals and relatively low survival rates, as well as the novelty of being struck by a mint that no longer operates, issues from Dahlonega and its (similarly short-lived) Southern counterparts in Charlotte and New Orleans are prized items on the numismatic market. The Dahlonega Mint only struck gold coins (as was the case for the Charlotte Mint), which are distinguished by a “D” mintmark on the reverse. (This was before the Denver Mint existed.)

Incredibly, one collector who had a complete collection of these rare coins—meaning one example of each denomination from each year—has actually donated his collection to the University of Georgia!

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no NFC

NFC Tags Used to Track Gold and Silver?

May 12th, 2017 by

Gold refiners and bullion dealers are always looking for ways to make purchasing and owning precious metals safer and more secure. Privacy is undoubtedly one of the typical gold buyer’s prime concerns. This is true whether someone is a small-time silver stacker or a high-end investor in bulk amounts of gold.

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cop-arrest

Hedge Funds Under Investigation

May 11th, 2017 by

If you had to pick a field as an exemplar traditionally known for its ethical behavior, money managers (the groups that run hedge funds) are probably not your best choice.

However, hedge funds are facing a much more existential threat: Since the financial crisis, hedge funds have had a difficult time outperforming “the market”—i.e. passively investing in an entire index, like the S&P 500—and have failed to do so far more often than not.

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