January 26, 2009

Philippine Bullion Report: Gold pass $900, Silver overtakes $12


Price of precious metals leap as investors shift their gears toward tangible investments. Gold climb to $900 while silver make it to the $12 mark as major currencies particularly the sterling dive in one of its lowest level against the dollar. The Russian ruble lost 40% of its value, while massive job cuts have been declared in a record as soon as President Obama took office.

The world economy was hit by a massive wave of job cuts on Monday with companies announcing plans to lay off tens of thousands of workers as US President Barack Obama warned of a crisis that could become "dramatically worse."

East West Bank have announce that it bought the local subsidiary of AIG, Philam Savings Bank, while report that pre-need firms are in jittery waters as more firms as expected to default on claims.

Meanwhile, the electronic and manufacturing industry announced that it would lay off around 40, 000 workers this year due to the slowing demand on consumer electronics and tech gadgets. Intel already declared that it would shut their plant located in Cavite, as well as other plants located in Malaysia as the effect of the global financial crisis deepens in the local economy.

Despite the PHISIX rise and the peso's better performance against the dollar, the Philippine economy has witnessed the threat of the global financial crisis to the local economy.


Dutch electronics giant Philips and banking group ING announced job cuts totaling 13,000 worldwide.

The announcements by the two Dutch companies came ahead of confirmation that Europe's second-biggest steelmaker, Indian-owned Corus, said it would cut more than 3,500 jobs around the world, most of them in Britain.

Philips said it would eliminate 6,000 jobs to cope with the global slowdown, which had pushed its results into the red and eroded sales.

The company said it suffered a net loss of 186 million euros (242 million dollars) for 2008 after a fourth-quarter loss of 1.47 billion euros, largely owing to an adjusted valuation of its Lumileds diode light unit.

For 2008, sales were down 1.5 percent to 26.39 billion euros.

French banking giant BNP Paribas was also caught up in the maelstrom, announcing a fourth quarter loss of 1.4 billion euros, its first time in the red for some 10 years. It expected a 2008 net profit of three billion euros, compared with a net profit of 7.8 billion euros the previous year.

However, shares in British bank Barclays, which has been hit by the crisis, surged by 75 percent after the group said it expected pre-tax profit for 2008 to exceed 5.3 billion pounds (5.6 billion euros, 7.1 billion dollars) despite writedowns of eight billion pounds.

In Britain unions were due to meet Corus management during the day Monday.

But workers arriving early Monday were gloomy about their prospects. "People feel gutted. I have already had to take a 10 percent pay cut," said 45-year-old Douglas Mayhill, a worker at a Corus plant in Port Talbot, southern Wales.

"I was told on Friday I have a choice -- either accept a 10 percent pay cut or take redundancy -- that is no choice."

The US Congress was meanwhile due to begin debate this week on Obama's 825-billion-dollar stimulus bill designed to haul the US economy out of a paralyzing recession.

In his first presidential radio address at the weekend, Obama raised the specter of double-digit unemployment, a massive erosion of family incomes and an entire generation losing its potential if Congress did not act on the stimulus bill. -AP


Meanwhile, some investors flock at local coin shops trying to seal some deals on bullion coins before the precious metals hit another rally. Last year, Citigroup made a prediction that Gold will hit a record of $2000 this year despite its downward performance.

"The price of silver and gold at the black market is very low, but supply is very scarce. Some of them have been either ordered in advance or have been reserved by their buyers so only few reach the open market or shops," a local coin buyer explained.

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