U.S. Mint gold bullion coins sales soar in April to highest in 3 years
American Eagle silver bullion coins sales are on the threshold of setting records as year-to-date sales have never been achieved so early in the year.
Author: Dorothy Kosich
Posted: Wednesday , 01 May 2013
RENO (MINEWEB) –
U.S. Mint figures show American Eagle gold coin sales hit a three-year high of 209,500 ounces in April, the highest since December 2009 sales of 231,500 coins. These figures include 187,500 one-ounce American Eagle bullion coins.
Year-to-date total gold coin sales now stand at 502,000 ounces as of Tuesday, April 30th. American Eagle one-ounce bullion coins sales now stand at 434,000 ounces as of that date. U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White told Bloomberg that the one-ounce gold bullion coins are the most popular for investors.
Gold prices recorded their biggest one-day loss in dollar terms in 30 years on April 15th.
(See also: Gold notches up biggest ever daily loss)
On April 16th gold prices fell to their lowest level in 16 months, prompting many bargain hunters to invest in gold bullion coins. Sales were so brisk; the U.S. Mint sold out of its smallest gold coin, the one-tenth ounce, forcing the Mint to suspend sales of the coin around April 24th.
By comparison, last April, the Mint reported only 20,000 American Eagle one-ounce gold coins and a total of 26,000 gold coins sold during the month.
Meanwhile American Eagle silver bullion coins sales for the month of April shot up nearly 169% over than last year from 1,520,000 silver ounces in April 2012 to 4,087,00 ounces. “Year-to-date sales of 18,310,000 have never been achieved so soon in a year,” Coin News observed Tuesday. “Last year sales did not top 18.3 million until July 16.”
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Fri May 03, 2013 9:06 pm
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Brazil Boosts Gold Reserves to the Highest in More Than 11 Years
By Nicholas Larkin – Nov 21, 2012 4:51 AM MT.
Brazil raised its gold reserves for a second month in October to the highest level in more than 11 years as emerging nations from Kazakhstan to Russia boosted holdings by more than 40 metric tons.
Brazil’s holdings expanded 17.2 tons last month to 52.5 tons, the most since January 2001, according to data on the International Monetary Fund’s website. The country’s 1.7-ton purchase in September was the first since December 2008. Kazakhstan’s holdings increased 7.5 tons, Russia added 0.4 ton and Turkey’s reserves rose 17.5 tons, the data show. Germany, the second-biggest holder, after the U.S., cut gold holdings by 4.2 tons, the first reduction since June.
Central banks have been expanding reserves as the metal heads for a 12th straight annual gain and investors hold a record amount in bullion-backed exchange-traded products, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Nations bought 373.9 tons in the first nine months of the year and full-year additions will probably be in the “bottom end” of 450 to 500 tons, the London-based World Gold Council estimates.
“This is a chunky purchase by a central bank, and the gold market will likely sit up and pay attention,” Edel Tully, an analyst at UBS AG in London, wrote today in a report, referring to Brazil’s addition. “Today’s news confirms much of the market chatter at the time that official sector buying was taking place and was one of the key factors that gave prices a reasonable floor last month.”
Germany holds 3,391.4 tons, the IMF data show. The Bundesbank declined to comment on the past month’s gold reserves, spokeswoman Susanne Kreutzer said, adding that the central bank reserves 7 tons a year to sell to the Finance Ministry for minting. The year started on Sept. 27, she said. The Bundesbank sold about 0.7 ton to the finance ministry in June and 4.7 tons in October 2011 to mint commemorative coins.
Gold for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,726.99 an ounce by 10:57 a.m. in London. It’s gained 10 percent this year. Holdings in gold-backed ETPs reached a record 2,604.9 tons yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“The IMF figures showed continued strong buying by central banks,” said Dan Smith, a commodities analyst at Standard Chartered Plc in London. “This continues the trend of recent months and we expect this to support gold prices.”
Turkey’s bullion holdings have increased due to it accepting gold in its reserve requirements from commercial banks. Belarus expanded holdings by 0.1 ton in October and Mexico reduced them by 0.2 ton, the IMF data show.
Gold accounts for about 0.5 percent of Brazil’s total reserves and 20 percent of Kazakhstan’s, according to the World Gold Council. That compares with more than 70 percent for the U.S. and Germany, the biggest bullion holders, the data show.
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Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:01 pm
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Three in 10 young adults live with parents, highest level since 1950s
A weak economy and high debt levels are prompting more young adults to return to the family nest, a new survey shows. Perhaps surprisingly, most are happy with their living arrangements.
By Husna Haq, Correspondent / March 15, 2012
3 and 0 After graduating from Brown University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and completing a Fulbright scholarship in Brazil, Cassie Owens was left with a few dollars on her stipend and no job in sight. So, Ms. Owens returned home to her mother in Philadelphia.
.“I moved back home pretty much for lack of money and prospects,” she says. Owens’s cousin, Evon Burton, who also returned home after graduating from Morehouse College in 2009, adds, “The choice is to go out and be in debt or to pursue your dreams and save up money at home, in a safe, stable environment.”
Owens and Burton are among the scores of so-called “boomerang kids,” young adults who move out of the family home for school or work and then return home. Unable to find well-paying work in a weak economy, escalating numbers of young adults – as many as 3 in 10 – are returning home to the family nest, resulting in the highest share of young adults living in multigenerational households since the 1950s, according to a Pew Research Center report released Thursday.
“The rise in the boomerang phenomenon illustrates the effect the recession and the weak economy are having on young adults,” says Kim Parker, a senior researcher at Pew and the author of the study. “Young adults were hit particularly hard in the job market and are having to delay reaching some basic financial milestones of adulthood because of this.”
In 1980, some 11 percent of young adults lived in multigenerational households, suggesting that a strong economy helped youngsters gain independence more quickly. Today, some 29 percent of 25- to 34-year olds either never moved out of their parents’ home or say they returned home in recent years because of the economy, according to the Pew report. Among 18- to 24-year olds, that figure is even higher – 53 percent of young adults in that age group live at home.
“These statistics show that the recession has exacerbated a trend that was already under way since the 1980s … living at home longer and boomeranging back more frequently,” says Barbara Ray, coauthor of “Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood and Why It’s Good for Everyone.” The recession has hit this age group particularly hard, says Ms. Ray, and high unemployment among young adults, combined with growing college debt, means more youngsters are returning home.
Surprisingly, most “boomerang kids” don’t mind living with mom and dad. If ever there were a stigma about living with parents through one’s late twenties and thirties, the recession and, along with it, a practical dollars-and-cents outlook on life have all but erased that perception.
Of those living at home, some 78 percent say they’re upbeat about their living arrangements, according to the Pew study, and 24 percent say it’s been good for their relationships with their parents (48 percent say it hasn’t changed their relationship).
Owens says she’s happy to have an opportunity to look after her mother, who isn’t in good health.
“My parents love it and if they could keep me here forever they would,” says Erika Brunner, who moved back home to Lafayette, N.Y., in 2010 after completing her bachelor’s degree, working, and traveling in Europe for five months.
.What’s more, says Parker, the trend of young adults returning home, and with it, the increasing number of multigenerational households in the US, suggest family is once again becoming an important social safety net.
“Census data suggest that if it can keep you out of poverty, it is in essence a sort of social safety net,” she says, citing Pew findings that young adults who live in multigenerational homes are less likely to live in poverty than those who don’t. Given an aging population and entitlement programs threatened due to a budget crunch, “it seems like family has to step in and fill a void,” says Parker. “That’s what we’re seeing here.”
But in many cases, it also means young adults are caught in a murky phase between adolescence and adulthood.
“The recession has really accelerated trends of prolonging adolescence and shifting adulthood later. If you can’t find a job, it’s difficult to establish yourself,” says Parker.
In fact, as many as 3 in 10 young adults postponed marriage, starting a family, or both, due to the economy, according to the Pew report. Another third have returned to school and untold numbers have settled for a job simply to make ends meet.
“But in spite of the trials and tribulations this generation is facing, they are extremely optimistic about the future,” says Parker.
Take Owens. Because well-paying jobs are hard to come by, she says, “a lot of people are going where their heart is and trying to have a good experience. In the past, they would have been content settling for a [traditional job]. Now no one’s willing to make pennies at a job they hate, so a lot of people are pursuing the stuff they really love.”
In Owens’s case, that’s journalism and music, which the 24-year-old is exploring with internships at Philadelphia’s CITY newspaper and at R&B Records, a mecca for audiophiles, which stocks one of the country’s largest collections of 45s. Owens says she’s been “blown away” by the experience and is planning to return to graduate school soon for a master’s degree in journalism.
But as Mr. Burton and Ms. Brunner – each of whom juggles three or more part-time jobs or internships – point out, the situation for many young adults is far from ideal. “I don’t think I’d be working 3.5 part-time jobs if I nailed down one that paid well enough and was something I really enjoyed,” says Brunner.
In that, Ray sees a worrisome trend in the boomerang generation.
“If the ‘launch’ feels blocked for too long, will this generation’s optimism curdle into bitterness and skepticism?” she asks, in an e-mail. “Will a ding to their wages at an important juncture haunt them for years? Will a generation that has been told they can be and do anything – without many challenges as of yet – be resilient enough to withstand this setback?” she says. “Only time will tell.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:26 pm
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NEW YORK — Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year.
At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April.
"You’re going to see a lot more staycations this year," says Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. "When the price gets anywhere near $4, you really see people react."
Already, W. Howard Coudle, a retired machinist from Crestwood, Mo., has seen his monthly gasoline bill rise to $80 from about $60 in December. The closest service station is selling regular for $3.39 per gallon, the highest he’s ever seen.
"I guess we’re going to have to drive less, consolidate all our errands into one trip," Coudle says. "It’s just oppressive."
The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil.
Oil around the world is priced differently. Brent crude from the North Sea is a proxy for the foreign oil that’s imported by U.S. refineries and turned into gasoline and other fuels. Its price has risen 11 percent so far this year, to around $119 a barrel, because of tensions with Iran, a cold snap in Europe and rising demand from developing nations. West Texas Intermediate, used to price oil produced in the U.S., is up 4 percent to around $103 a barrel. That’s 19 percent higher than a year earlier.
Higher gas prices could hurt consumer spending and curtail the recent improvement in the U.S. economy.
A 25-cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, would cost the economy about $35 billion. That’s only 0.2 percent of the total U.S. economy, but economists say it’s a meaningful amount, especially at a time when growth is only so-so. The economy grew 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter, a rate considered modest following a recession.
High oil and gas prices now set the stage for even sharper increases at the pump because gas typically rises in March and April.
Every spring, refiners suspend operations to switch the type of gasoline they make. Supplies of wintertime gas are sold off before March, when refineries need to start making a new formula of gasoline that’s required in the summer.
That can mean less supply for service stations, resulting in higher gas prices. And summertime gasoline is more expensive to make. The government mandates that it contain less butane and other cheap organic compounds because they contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a primary constituent in smog. That means more oil, a costlier component, is needed to produce each gallon.
The Oil Price Information Service predicts that gasoline could peak at $4.25 a gallon by the end of April. That would top the record of $4.11 in July 2008.
The national average for gasoline began the year at $3.28 a gallon. The average price for February so far is $3.49 a gallon. That’s up from $3.17 a gallon last February, a record at the time. Back in 2007, before the recession hit, the average for February was $2.25 a gallon.
Prices are higher on the East and West Coasts, where gasoline has risen above $3.70 in Connecticut, New York, Washington D.C. and California. This isn’t unusual — states on the coasts charge some of the nation’s highest gas taxes.
High gas prices put a strain on many people’s budgets.
Americans spent 8.4 percent of their household income on gasoline last year when gas averaged an all-time high of $3.51 a gallon. That’s double the percentage a decade ago. They could pay even more this year, even though demand is the lowest in 11 years as people drive fewer miles in more efficient cars, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at OPIS.
Gary Goodman commutes into Manhattan from Edgewater, N.J., because gas, tolls and parking make the cost of driving prohibitive.
Goodman, an accountant, commutes by bus. He uses his car mostly for trips to the grocery store or for occasional nights out. He says he has no choice but to eat the higher gas costs.
"I already drive as little as possible," he says.
Paul Dales, a senior economist at Capital Economics says it would take a bigger shift in the global economy — say, a deep recession in Europe or a slowdown in Asia’s manufacturing — for pump prices to drop noticeably. Either event would slow oil demand, depressing prices.
But experts expect demand to keep rising. World oil demand is expected to increase by another 1.5 percent to 89.25 million barrels a day in 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration.
In the short term, tensions with Iran are feeding fears that oil supplies could be blocked.
The U.S. and Europe are tightening economic sanctions against Iran over what the West believes is Iran’s attempt to build a nuclear bomb. World leaders fear Israel may be planning a strike against Iran, the world’s third largest oil exporter.
In response, Iran has threatened to withhold its own oil deliveries and to block the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway along its coastline through which one-fifth of the world’s oil flows.
On Friday, an international banking clearinghouse crucial to Iran’s oil sales said it is prepared to discontinue services to Iranian financial institutions being targeted by the EU and U.S. sanctions. That could ratchet up the pressure on Iran, but also send oil prices soaring.
The price of Brent crude fell 53 cents on Friday to $119.58. WTI gained 93 cents to $103.24.
Gas prices are already an issue in the presidential campaign. Republican candidate Newt Gingrich spoke several times this week about opening up more federal land to oil and gas drilling as a path toward U.S. energy independence — and lower pump prices.
"Our goals should be to get gasoline to $2.50 or less so that working families can actually get to work and retired families can travel," Gingrich said at a campaign event in Los Angeles Thursday.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:49 pm
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