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U.S. Government Mint Sells Out of Gold Coins and Suspends Sales

Commodities / Gold & Silver Aug 22, 2008 - 08:45 AM GMT

By: Mark_OByrne

Commodities Gold finished trading in New York yesterday at $833.30, up $23 and silver was up 73 cents to $13 76. Gold and silver remained firm in Asian trading and have given up some of the gains in early European trading . Gold i s trading at $ 831.30/831.70 per ounce (1 100 GMT).


Gold surged yesterday on concerns regarding Russia- Nato tensions, surging oil and commodity prices and confirmation that the US Mint is suspending sales of American Eagle gold bullion coins (1 ozt) due to an inability to meet surging demand (see News and Commentary). Gold was significantly over sold and this was a s expected given the myriad of strong fundamental macroeconomic and geopolitical factors favouring gold at the moment. These strong fundamentals could see gold have it's strongest weekly gain in 7 years.

The shortage in the physical bullion markets is perhaps the most important story facing the precious metals markets today. Bullion retailers, wholesalers, bullion banks (such as UBS yesterday) refiners and mints (US and Canadian) have been experiencing difficulty in supplying their respective customers due to an unprecedented level of demand. The fact that for the first time since its inception, the US Mint, part of the Treasury Department, halted the sale of gold bullion coins last Friday is highly important and was reported on by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Bloomberg TV, the Financial Times, Reuters and regionals such as the LA Times.

Buyers of bullion coins and bars are long term buyers and diversifiers most of whom buy bullion as financial insurance against macroeconomic and systemic risk. Very few will be selling their bullion until the current global economic crisis has abated in a number of years time and when gold is likely above it's inflation adjusted record high of over $2,300 per ounce. 

Gold and particularly silver are tiny markets in terms of global stock, currency and bond markets and if even a fraction of the big money internationally picks up on this story and decides to take positions in the precious metal markets (which seems very likely) we will see a surge in prices that will make the 1970's look very tame.

A lso of importance is the news that the Bundesbank has reaffirmed it's belief in the importance of retaining significant holdings of gold bullion in their monetary reserves.  

The Bundesbank has said that gold reserves are more important than before and has  rejected calls that it should sell some of its gold reserves to help boost the slowing German economy . The Bundesbank said that  financial and political uncertainty make the reserves even more important than before. The Bundesbank is the world's second-largest holder of gold after the U.S. Federal Reserve, and has sold just 20 tonnes out of total reserves of over 3,000 tonnes in the past five years.

"Gold sales are not a suitable way to sustainably consolidate the public accounts," the Bundesbank said after a query about trade union proposals that it sell gold to fund some of a 25 billion euro ($37 billion) economic stimulus package. "National gold reserves have a confidence and stability-building function for the single currency in a monetary union. This function has become even more important given the geopolitical situation and the risks present in financial market developments."

Today's Data and Influence
Focus will remain on the dollar, oil and gold markets ahead of the  key note speech from the Fed's Bernanke later today. He is due to speak on the topic of financial stability. He is not expected to provide any fresh insights on the policy front . There are no US data due for release today so movements in oil and stocks are likely to  influence direction.

By Mark O'Byrne, Executive Director

Gold Investments
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Gold and Silver Investments Limited
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Gold and Silver Investments Ltd. have been awarded the MoneyMate and Investor Magazine Financial Analyst of 2006.

Mission Statement
Gold and Silver Investments Limited hope to inform our clientele of important financial and economic developments and thus help our clientele and prospective clientele understand our rapidly changing global economy and the implications for their livelihoods and wealth.
We focus on the medium and long term global macroeconomic trends and how they pertain to the precious metal markets and our clienteles savings, investments and livelihoods. We emphasise prudence, safety and security as they are of paramount importance in the preservation of wealth.

Financial Regulation: Gold & Silver Investments Limited trading as Gold Investments is regulated by the Financial Regulator as a multi-agency intermediary. Our Financial Regulator Reference Number is 39656. Gold Investments is registered in the Companies Registration Office under Company number 377252 . Registered for VAT under number 6397252A . Codes of Conduct are imposed by the Financial Regulator and can be accessed at www.financialregulator.ie or from the Financial Regulator at PO Box 9138, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland. Property, Commodities and Precious Metals are not regulated by the Financial Regulator

Disclaimer: The information in this document has been obtained from sources, which we believe to be reliable. We cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. It does not constitute a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any investment. Any person acting on the information contained in this document does so at their own risk. Recommendations in this document may not be suitable for all investors. Individual circumstances should be considered before a decision to invest is taken. Investors should note the following: The value of investments may fall or rise against investors' interests. Income levels from investments may fluctuate. Changes in exchange rates may have an adverse effect on the value of, or income from, investments denominated in foreign currencies. Past experience is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

All the opinions expressed herein are solely those of Gold & Silver Investments Limited and not those of the Perth Mint. They do not reflect the views of the Perth Mint and the Perth Mint accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.

Mark O'Byrne Archive

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