It’s no secret that 2017 was a down year for the precious metals market in the United States. Looking at US Mint sales figures tells the story. In 2016, the mint sold nearly 1 million ounces of American Gold Eagles. Sales figures in 2017 came in at just over 302,000 ounces.
In two words – Donald Trump.
Regulatory concerns set off the panic. Bitcoin fell below $10,000 for a time, and other cryptocurrencies saw precipitous drops. Crypto markets appeared to have stabilized Thursday morning, with Bitcoin back up over $11,000.
The sudden plunge served as a reminder of the extreme volatility in the cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin has seen swings of $10,000 over the last three months. As Bitcoin’s price fell through the floor this week, some investors sought out the stability and historical safe haven of gold.
I’ve mentioned this several times in these Fun on Friday columns, but the whole phenomenon of eating gold fascinates me.
Because, really, it’s kind of weird.
On Dec. 31, 2016, the price of gold stood at 1,156.00. Today, it is knocking on the $1,300 mark. The yellow metal is on track to gain about 12% in 2017, its best year since 2010. Gold has made these gains despite a number headwinds that we would expect to put a significant drag on gold.
Here are seven major themes that have driven gold news over the past year.