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Mid-Day Gold & Silver Market Report – 2/23/2012

GREEK DEBT WRITE-OFF BEGINS; OIL PUSHES GOLD HIGHER

Precious metals prices are on the move upward again today. A number of factors are leading to that trend, most notably the rising Middle East tension, Greek debt resolution and technical buying. RBS strategist Nikos Kavalis said, “The fact that we have Iran in the background is certainly helping through higher oil prices, which are a negative for most other industrial commodities. But for Gold, it's positive, as it boosts inflation-hedging and boosts its safe-haven attributes.” There is a lot of upside for Silver, as well, as supply concerns and heightened demand are starting to crop up. Supply is dwindling as mining for lead and zinc continues to dwindle. Silver is a by-product of those mining efforts. Kingsgate Consolidated Chief Executive Gavin Thomas said, “Silver is a fantastic opportunity. … I see there’s a lot of upward price (for the metal) because of the lack of supply. … India and China are slowly turning to Silver as a means of hoarding wealth, as Gold is becoming more difficult to obtain (due to higher prices).”

Concerns are rampant that a military confrontation with Iran is nearing. The United Nations’ nuclear security team, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was not allowed to visit the Iranian nuclear site in Parchin. The standoff with Iran has been particularly troubling to world oil markets. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. was evaluating Iranian intentions and “this particular action (over the IAEA mission) by Iran suggests that they have not changed their behavior when it comes to abiding by their international obligations.”

European banks have started to write-down their exposure to Greek debt. The write-down of debt actually equated to about 74 percent, which was in line with estimated losses. This is the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history. Lutz Roehmeyer, an overseer with Landesbank Berlin Investment, said, “Earnings were hit by Greek write-downs, but at least the worst is now behind us. … By aggressively writing down their holdings, banks want to show that they can cope even if Greece defaults down the road.” But the real question is whether the worst of it is really over?

At noon (CST), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:

  • Gold - $1,788.10 – Up $16.80.
  • Silver - $35.53 – Up $1.23.
  • Platinum - $1,725.70 – Up $3.90.
  • Palladium - $720.50 – Up $1.90.

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Disclaimer:
APMEX’s ‘Market Reports’ provide our readers with a review of spot price activity and some of the factors that may be affecting the market for precious metals, three times during the trading day. While the information is obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy or its completeness and we encourage you to conduct your own investigation prior to making any decision based on the information. The "News and Commentaries" are not intended as a comprehensive discussion and there may be other factors that may be affecting the financial marketplace. These "News and Commentaries" are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation by APMEX to hold, to purchase or to sell any precious metal product. All orders, all purchases and all sales, if any, are subject to the terms of the User Agreement and other applicable policies.

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