Gold prices dropped slightly Monday on tech corrections from earlier gains posted on Friday. Gold last reported a.m. is $1274.10 down $5.30 and silver is $17.26 up two cents.
Events in Greece are a continuing concern for European stock markets as the new anti-austerity prime minister stands firm concerning his views on rejecting European Central Bank handouts. Greece has the potential of becoming the lightning rod that initiates the end of the European Union along with its Euro. If the ECB doesn’t find some way to pressure the new prime minister into following the status quo, other debt ridden nations will quickly follow suit. The major obstacle the ECB faces is the average working class Greek who’s been economically devastated by monetary measures implemented to do just that.
Greece’s new prime minister is also taking aim at our U.S. neighbor Canada. The government is cancelling plans to sell the state natural gas utility and is opposed to a Canadian operated gold mine that is one of the largest foreign investment projects in the country. The mine was operated by Vancouver based Eldorado Gold Corp in northern Greece and was the last government’s flagship test case designed to show foreign investors that Greece could protect investors despite local opposition.
Shares of Eldorado Gold fell to a six year low last week but the company maintains they have permits and are legally entitled to continue operations and development projects. Greek citizens continue criticizing the project due to environmental impacts on the Halkidiki peninsula landscape of forest and beaches surrounding it.
Chinese consumers withdrew 71 tonnes of gold during the third week of January. These purchases are for physical gold only and cannot be returned to the Shanghai Gold Exchange for resale. The latest SGE withdrawals show tremendous demand running up to this year’s Chinese New Year beginning February 19.
Withdrawals from the Exchange total more than 200 tonnes for the first three weeks of the year. Total global new mined gold according to GFMS is running at 60 tonnes per week. The Chinese gold withdrawals thus far account for 85 percent of all new gold available to the world market.
Gold demand is always strong before the Chinese New Year and this trend has continued despite rising gold prices. Global demand for physical gold and silver show us that regardless of COMEX ongoing efforts to suppress gold prices, it doesn’t deter investors.
We are in the midst of currency wars that are going to determine if the U.S. dollar remains king. Our guess is not only will the dollar be displaced but that another gold backed currency is on the horizon.
The 1 oz. Silver Canadian Maple and 1 oz. Silver American Eagle remain available under production costs. Both coins are highly sought after and available in .999 and .9999 purity.