Monthly Archives: March 2018

  • Precious Metals Post Gains As Weekend Approaches

    Precious metals are set to possibly end the week on a positive note as St. Patrick Day looms. Gold is currently up 0.2 percent to $1,317.83 per ounce.

    Gold actually posted the lowest gains today, with silver up 0.4 percent. Platinum and palladium saw the biggest increases today, up 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Base metals are also mostly on the rise today, with copper up 0.5 percent to $6,956 per ton. Only tin slipped today, down 0.1 percent to $20,970 per ton.

    In other markets, the German ten-year bund is down to 0.57 percent, while the U.S. ten-year treasuries yield posted at 2.83 percent. Spot Brent crude oil pricing is up today, rising by 0.09 percent to $65.13 per barrel. The U.S. dollar is still consolidating above its base at 90.02.

  • Real-Life Pot o' Gold Discovered During Dutch Construction Project

    Sometimes you don't need to follow a rainbow, but rather a drain pipe, to find a pot o' gold.

    That's what happened for utility workers in the Netherlands, who stumbled across a centuries-old pot of gold earlier this month while laying down new pipes, according to news reports.

    The remarkable find includes 500 coins — 12 of them gold and the rest silver — dating to the 15th century, which were nestled inside of a glazed, earthenware cooking pot, according to the NL Times.

    Employees of Oasen, a drinking-water company, discovered the treasure on March 1, when they were laying down pipes in Hoef en Haag, a new town in the central province of Utrecht. As soon as they found the coins, the workers called Utrecht's archeological hotline, which sent archaeologists to inspect the area and gather the artifacts. [Top 10 Rare U.S. Coins]

    The prize pot also contained textiles, which may have once served as moneybags of sorts to hold the coins, Peter de Boer, an archaeologist at Omgevingsdienst Regio Utrecht (Environment Service Region Utrecht), told RTV Utrecht. The majority of the coins date to the 1470s and 1480s, and some have imagery depicting King Henry VI of England (and the disputed king of France), Pope Paul II, and David of Burgundy, who was bishop of Utrecht.

    "Every coin in this treasure is a story in precious metal," de Boer told RTV Utrecht. "Every gentleman gave out his 'business card' by way of a coin, and therefore, there is a lot to discover."

    Moreover, the coins may shed light on what happened to the medieval city of Hagestein after it fell in a siege in 1405, de Boer said. "In this sense, we now have a 'pot full of stories,'" De Boer added.

    The artistry on the coins may also help researchers learn more about the Burgundian Netherlands, a collection of fiefdoms that included parts of modern-day Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and northern France that were ruled by the dukes of Burgundy, an ancient lineage of French nobility with deep ties to France's royal family. The Burgundian Netherlands existed from 1384 to 1477, and during that time, some of the coins were still in use, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

    The coins are now being appraised and studied, but will soon be returned to their new owners — Oasen, the project developer and the people who own the land where the coins were found, according to NOS, the Dutch broadcasting foundation.

    Source: Live Science

  • Increased Dollar Hurts Gold, Silver Buying

    Thursday is looking like another day of losses for gold and silver as a stronger U.S. dollar and generally low risk investing have quelled that interest for now. Gold is currently down $8.80 per ounce to $1,316.90. Silver is also down $0.127 to $16.41 per ounce.

    Despite largescale turmoil in the Trump administration and fear over a possible trade war, U.S. stocks are turning a blind eye and are up somewhat today. Although it looks like the Trump administration is going to begin imposing even more trade tariffs and restrictions on China, it is unclear how strong these new restrictions will be.

    In other markets, the U.S. dollar is higher on its index today. Similarly, pricing on Nymex crude oil is slightly increased from its losses yesterday. Copper on the N.Y. exchange is down 325 points to 312.55 cents today.

  • Precious Metals Mixed on 3/14

    Today's trading session shows precious metals in mostly positive territory, with only gold falling behind. The yellow metal is currently down somewhat to $1,325.33 per ounce.

    Platinum saw the most gains today, rising by 0.4 percent. Palladium and silver are both up 0.1 percent. In base metals, most saw some sort of consolidation throughout this Wednesday session, although lead is up 0.3 percent and copper rose by 0.5 percent to $6,984 per ton.

    In other markets, the U.S. dollar is continuing its recent trend of consolidation, coming in at 89.70 today. The euro is up today to 1.2392. Pricing on the U.S. ten-year treasuries is weaker at 2.83 percent. The German ten-year bund is also down somewhat at 0.61 percent. Also feeling the crunch is spot Brent crude oil, which has weakened by 0.31 percent to $64.53 per barrel.

  • Potential N. Korea/U.S. Summit Send Gold South

    The precious metals complex lost some ground today as international news focuses on the recent story that the U.S. and North Korea are planning on holding a summit. Gold is currently down 0.2 percent today, to $1,318.15 per ounce.

    Silver slipped by the same 0.2 percent margin today. Palladium is down just 0.1 percent, and platinum is holding steady at its current level. Base metals are also not seeing much help as safe haven buying is down, with all metals but nickel down today. Nickel posted gains of 0.2 percent. Other losses ranged from Zinc's -1 percent to lead's -0.3 percent. Thursday was generally not a strong day for metals trading, either.

    Other markets are not doing too hot on this Friday session either. The yield on U.S. ten-year treasuries is down to 2.87 percent, and the German ten-year bund is also down, to 0.64 percent. Spot Brent crude oil pricing has slipped 0.7 percent to $63.81 per barrel. Only the U.S. dollar is seeing gains on its index today, rising to 90.17.

  • Base, Precious Metals Down Following Day of Gains

    While yesterday showed precious metals gaining an average of 1.1 percent, today was markedly different, with all metals in the precious metals complex closing at a loss. Gold is currently down 0.4 percent to $1,333.83 per ounce.

    Silver posted losses of 0.6 percent today, down to $16.68 an ounce. Palladium slipped to $982.90 an ounce. While platinum gained 2.3 percent in Tuesday's session, today is returned 0.2 percent, dropping to $965.20 an ounce. Base metals also lost ground today, with average losses of 0.3 percent. Nickel is by far the greatest loser, falling by 0.9 percent to $13,520 a ton.

    In other markets, pricing for spot Brent crude oil dropped 0.41 percent today, to $65.21 per barrel. The yield on ten-year U.S. treasuries is down to 2.86 percent. However, the German ten-year bund is up slightly at 0.66 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar is back down on its index again, falling to 89.53 over rising trade wars concerns and the resignation of Cohn.

  • With Dollar Down, Gold and Silver Post Gains

    Today's trading session in the U.S. proved positive for both gold and silver as the U.S. dollar slipped on its index. Gold is currently up $15.40 to $1,335.40 per ounce.

    Silver also saw positives in today's session, rising up to $16.78 per ounce - an increase of $0.368 from yesterday's session. While today saw an increase in investor risk purchases, typically-safe haven investments such as precious metals were not affected negatively today.

    In other markets, the U.S. stock market saw an overall positive trading day, with market participants crossing their fingers for a roll-back on recently-announced aluminum and steel trading tariffs. The price on Nymex crude oil is essentially unchanged today, coming in at barrels just under $63.00 per piece.

  • Japanese Group Experiments Mercury-Free Gold Mining

    The new technology will reduce the health consequences related to gold melting

    Some Japanese non-profit organizations and researchers have initiated a drive to assist Ghana to deal with mercury contamination from gold mines.

    The team is introducing a technology that will allow the smelting of gold without the use of mercury which has been found to have serious negative health consequences.

    This comes at a time when Ghana has signed the Minamata Convention.

    Gold remains one of Ghana’s major export commodities, with its mining largely done on a small-scale level.

    The process at the small-scale level involves dissolving the gold ore in mercury then heat-vaporizing the mercury, although this is dangerous. It is carried out untethered in illegal, small-scale mines, run mainly by Chinese enterprises.

    Izumi Watanabe, an Environmental toxicology professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology did a study on soil samples from small-scale mines in southwestern Ghana and he detected high concentrations of mercury, up to several tens-of-times higher than normal.

    Incidences of serious skin disease of unknown cause among mine workers are increasing in mining areas and there is a close relationship between the two.

    Professor Watanabe warned that, “there were also high concentrations of mercury found in vegetables and river fish, and if things continue as is, there is the fear of serious health implications.”

    The joint research team is building upon a technology originally developed in 1992 by a former senior researcher at the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Yukimichi Nakao.

    Plans are underway to conduct an experimental trial of the non-mecury smelting method in the mines in Ghana.

    The process will now use iodine and its compounds dissolved in organic solvents.

    Gold is generally stable and impervious to melting, but it dissolves readily in this solvent. A high yield rate of more than 99% was confirmed in experiments using Japanese gold ore.

    Dr. Nakao said: “Iodine is highly stable and easy to handle. Although the costs involved need to be considered, it is a promising alternative to mercury.”

    The Minamata Convention, which aims to prevent adverse health effects and environmental pollution from mercury, came into force on August 16, 2017, and its goals include reducing mercury from small-scale gold ore mining. Ghana signed the convention in March, but implementation measures are yet to be developed.

    Mr. Tanzawa is calling for cooperation from business: “If non-mercury smelting methods are realized in Ghana, it would become a model for other developing countries. I hope to be able to collect the necessary research funding.”


  • Recent U.S. Fed Comments Plummet Precious Metals

    Recent hawkish comments from the new U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell have sent precious metals into a tailspin yesterday. Gold consolidated to $1,318.92 per ounce.

    Yesterday saw precious metals falling with an average loss of 1.3 percent. Today held much the same, with precious metals consolidating across the board. Platinum and palladium closed at $980 per ounce and $1,046.20 per ounce, respectively. Silver is down to $16.39 an ounce. Base metals were also fairly weaker, with losses averaging around 0.4 percent. Lead was the biggest loser, at -1 percent altogether.

    However, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) comments were not bad news for all markets, as the U.S. dollar has once again started up its rebound, coming in at 90.48 in its index today. Spot Brent crude oil has slipped to $63.31 per barrel. The yield on U.S. ten-year treasuries is looking good at 2.9 percent, followed by a stronger German ten-year bund at 0.68 percent.