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Market Recap 1/29/10

1/29/2010 03:38:00 PM, Posted by APMEX, No Comment

Home sales took another significant hit in December, raising worries about the housing market's ability to recover once government support begins to wane. Single-family home sales fell 7.6%, following a 9.3% plunge in November, according to an article by Jeff Bader and Sara Murray in the Wall Street Journal. “The new-home market continued to wilt late in 2009,” said Mike Larson, an analyst at Weiss Research Inc. “The buyers who are willing and able to buy are flocking to cheaper, distressed, ‘used’ homes.”

This week, the Senate voted for a second four-year term for Ben Bernake, as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. This vote came on the heels of weeks of continued criticism of the Fed Chairman by certain Members of Congress.

“The intense scrutiny of Mr. Bernanke's record underscored risks to the Fed's cherished independence to change interest rates without political interference,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The Federal Reserve insisted this week that the economy is starting to recover, but it is still fragile enough that the Fed decided to leave interest rates at record low levels. As a result, the dollar saw gains, causing the stock markets to rally. This activity in the stock market caused the consolidation in precious metals and other commodity prices. Many investors, not convinced that the recession is over, are taking advantage of this consolidation, buying gold at much lower prices compared to recent highs.

Also this week, APMEX featured an unheard of “Gold at Spot” sale. Perth Mint colorized fractional gold coins were offered at spot through an email to APMEX customers. “People really responded to the rare opportunity to buy gold coins at spot. No other precious metals company is in the position to successfully do this kind of sale. We sold out of a huge supply of fractional gold coins in about 6 hours,” remarked Mike Garofalo, Vice President of APMEX.

Spot gold prices opened this week at $1,093.50. The high during the week was on Monday, January 25th, at $1,104.00, while the low for the week was $1,072.90 and it occurred on Friday, January 29th. Gold ended the week down $10.70 at $1,082.80. This week, the most popular gold items included Australian Gold Lunar Coins, Gold American Eagles and 1 oz. .9999 Pamp Suisse Gold Bars.

Spot silver prices opened this week at $17.06. Silver reached a high of $17.23 on Monday, January 25th, while the low for silver occurred on Thursday, January 28th, at $16.01. Silver ended the week down $0.80 at $16.26. 2010 Silver American Eagles, 1 oz. APMEX .999 Fine Silver Rounds and 2010 1 oz. Silver Maple Leafs were the most popular silver items for sale at www.

Spot platinum prices opened this week at $1,543.40 and ended the week down $40.40 at $1,503.00. Popular platinum products this week included 1 oz. Scotia Bank .999 Fine Platinum Bars, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse .999 Fine Platinum Bars and Platinum American Eagles.

Spot palladium prices opened this week at $430.00 and ended the week down $14.40 at $415.60. 1 oz. .999 Fine Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars, 2009 Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs MS-69 NGC and Random Year 1 oz. Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs remain popular with palladium investors.

Featured Bullion Product:
Each week, APMEX will review a different bullion product for the benefit of our readers. This week, we will examine the American Gold Buffalo coin.

The United States Mint introduced the American Gold Buffalo coin in 2006. The coin’s design is borrowed from the famous Buffalo Nickel created by famed American sculptor, James Earle Fraser. The obverse depicts the iconic Native American Indian Head design, while the reverse features the classic buffalo design with inscriptions of the weight, denomination and gold content.

American Gold Buffalo Coins are the first .9999 fine, 24-karat gold coins ever struck by the United States Mint. They are available to investors seeking to invest in a 24-karat gold coin that has its fineness and purity guaranteed by the United States Government.

APMEX offers a great selection of American Gold Buffalo coins dated during the current year and in several prior years in brilliant uncirculated and proof condition. Coins purchased in quantities of 20 or more will be delivered in mint sealed protective plastic sheets.

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