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Closing Gold & Silver Market Report – 12/21/2011

DIRECTION UNCLEAR IN TODAY’S GOLD, SILVER MARKETS   

Gold and Silver began the day strong, as did the U.S. equities market. The European Central Bank’s announcement that it was going to make nearly a half-trillion euros available for banks to borrow jump-started the markets. A total of 523 banks borrowed about 490 billion euros. The positive response in the markets resulted from expectations that those banks would use some of the loaned money to buy sovereign debt. When it became apparent the banks were going to use the money to shore up their balance sheets, the markets went south. However, by the end of the day, Gold and Silver and U.S. equities had climbed back to near levels at which they began the day.

Each year around this time, we begin to see stock and Gold price predictions for the coming year. Last year, most of the predictions for stocks were bullish, and Gold predictions more modest. But there was no way to predict the Arab Spring, the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, the continued lack of jobs or the severity of the European debt crisis. In the end, it has been a poor year for stocks and another robust year for Gold, despite the recent price decline. It makes one wonder what the unexpected (Black Swan) events might be in 2012. In an article by Patti Domm, CNBC news editor, there are five geopolitical risks we need to watch for in 2012:

  1. The conflict with Iran. Tensions already are escalating as Western countries seek to push sanctions on Iran for its nuclear weapons program.
  2. North Korea. Who is this new 28-year-old leader? There is very little known about Kim Jong Un, who leads a secretive and closed country that possesses nuclear weapons.
  3. Iraq’s civil war. The exit of U.S. forces leaves behind an unstable situation that creates even more uncertainty amid the world’s major oil supplies.
  4. Deteriorating Pakistani-U.S. relationship. The U.S. relies on Pakistan to assist in the ongoing war on terrorism. However, the U.S. also needs India as an ally, which creates quite a balancing act.
  5. Russian elections. There could be a shift of power in Russia, and this brings added uncertainty. Russia still carries economic clout and remains the world’s largest oil producer.

At 4 p.m., the APMEX precious metals prices were:

  • Gold - $1,616.90 – Down $0.70.
  • Silver - $29.37 – Down $0.20.
  • Platinum - $1,431.50 – Down $2.40.
  • Palladium - $636.00 – Up $6.40.

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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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