Gold and silver beat stocks by a long shot in the first half of 2016. As of June 30, Gold was up nearly 25% for the year-to-date and silver closed at $18.75, up over 35% in the first half. Silver rose from $17.60 on Tuesday (June 28) to $18.20 on Wednesday to $18.80 Thursday and $20.36 on Monday.
Over the July 4 weekend, the precious metals rose dramatically higher. Even though the U.S. markets were closed, the London pm settings were $1,350.75 for gold, $20.36 for silver and $1,066 for platinum. That’s the highest London gold fix since March 14, 2014 and the highest silver price since July 31, 2014. Despite this dramatic price increase over the weekend, the media is strangely quiet about this latest surge.
U.S. Mint Sales Rise Sharply in the First Half of 2016
Sales of the American Eagle silver and gold coins rose strongly in the first half of 2016 vs. the same six months in 2015. Silver American Eagle coin sales rose by 20.5%, from 21,786,000 ounces in the first six months of 2015 to 26,250,000 ounces in the first half of 2016. Gold Eagle sales were up 83.5% for the same six months, rising from 273,000 ounces in the first half of 2015 to 501,000 oz. in 2016’s first half.
Silver and Gold Were in the Top 8 (of 118) Investments in the First Half
The Friday Wall Street Journal listed 118 investment categories, including 20 commodities, 38 U.S. and global stock market indexes, 37 leading currencies and over 20 global bond indexes. The top eight investments were all commodities, including Silver and Gold. (Platinum was up 14.7% in the first half.) Lean hogs were the only investment gaining more ground than silver, and that was due to a shortage of hogs in China, caused by Chinese farmers killing hogs as a price support, then disease wiping out many others. Other than that bizarre Chinese pig slaughter, Silver was the best investment in the first half.
On the flip side, seven of the 10 worst investments were in stock markets in Europe and Asia, along with two agricultural commodities. The weakest currency was the Argentine peso, but the strongest currency was the neighboring Brazilian real (+23.2%), since it had been beaten down so badly in 2015. U.S. stock market indexes were mediocre, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 rising +2.9% and +2.7%, respectively, while the broader Russell 2000 was up only 1.4% and the tech-heavy NASDAQ fell -3.3%.
After a great first half of 2016, gold and silver are off to a great start for the second half of 2016 as well.