November 27, 2022

2009 Precious Metals Performance: Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium

Precious metals delivered a strong performance during 2009 with strong returns across the major categories of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Although gold seemed to dominate the attention of the mainstream press, the annual performance figures reveal that it was outperformed by other precious metals.

The table below displays the last price of 2008 from Kitco’s historical charts and the last price of 2009. The change and percentage change are computed below.

2009 Precious Metals Performance

Gold Silver Platinum Palladium
Last 2008 Price 869.75 10.79 898.00 183.00
Last 2009 Price 1,087.50 16.99 1,461.00 393.00
Change 217.75 6.20 563.00 210.00
Percentage Change 25.04% 57.46% 62.69% 114.75%

As seen above the surprising winner for the year was palladium, which delivered a return of 114.75%. This was followed by platinum with 62,69%, silver with a gain of 57.46%, and lastly gold with a gain of 25.04% recorded.

In some respects the out performance of palladium, platinum, and silver are simply making up for ground that was lost during 2008 (2008 Precious Metals Performance). Last year palladium had fallen by nearly 50%, platinum by about 40%, and silver by 26%. During the same period, gold recorded a small gain of 4.32%.

One of the recent characteristics of gold has been its steady upward march, defying panics in other asset classes, and general declines in commodities. This year marks gold’s ninth annual gain, which has brought the price of gold 291% higher from the end of 2000 until the end of 2009.

Gold, Silver & Platinum 2009 Second Quarter Performance

With the second quarter behind us, let’s take a look at the performance of gold, silver, and platinum for the second quarter of 2009 and year to date.

All of the metals posted gains, but at single digit levels. The best performer for the second quarter was silver with a gain of 6.33%, followed by platinum with a gain of 5.52%, and then gold with a gain of 1.96%. The closing numbers don’t tell the full story. At the beginning of June, precious metals prices had spiked. At this recent peak, silver had been up as much as 22% for the quarter. Platinum and gold were also showing heftier gains at this time.

2009 Second Quarter Gold, Silver, and Platinum Performance
31-Mar-09 30-Jun-09 Change Percent
Gold 916.5 934.50 18.00 1.96%
Silver 13.11 13.94 0.83 6.33%
Platinum 1,124.00 1186.00 62.00 5.52%

On a year to date basis, the top precious metal performer remains as platinum with a gain of 32.07% on the year. This is followed by silver with a gain of 29.19% and gold with a gain of 7.44%. The performance of the metals had lined up in the same manner at the close of the first quarter.

2009 YTD Gold, Silver, and Platinum Performance
30-Dec-08 30-Jun-09 Change Percent
Gold 869.75 934.50 64.75 7.44%
Silver 10.79 13.94 3.15 29.19%
Platinum 898.00 1186.00 288 32.07%

Gold, Silver & Platinum 2009 First Quarter Performance

With the first quarter at an end, let’s take a look at the performance of gold, silver, and platinum so far this year.

When putting the numbers together, I knew what to expect, but its still surprising to see where the final numbers landed. Gold, silver, and platinum’s performance relative to one another has basically been turned upside down from the 2008 annual performance.

2009 First Quarter Gold, Silver, and Platinum Performance
30-Dec-08 31-Mar-09 Change Percent
Gold 869.75 916.50 46.75 5.38%
Silver 10.79 13.11 2.32 21.50%
Platinum 898.00 1,124.00 226.00 25.17%

For 2008, gold had performed the best with a gain of 4.32%, followed by silver with a loss of 26.90%, with platinum in last place with a loss of 41.31%.

As you can see the performance for the first quarter of 2009 has been the opposite with platinum performing best with a gain of 25.17%, followed by silver with a gain of 21.50%, with gold in last place with a gain of 5.38%.

Platinum and silver were in some respects recovering from the beating they took last year. Over the past several years gold has emerged as more of a steady performer, as compared to the more volatile performance of the other metals, commodities, equities, real estate, etc. It’s ironic that whenever a mainstream publication discusses the possibility of investing in gold, they never fail to caution about gold’s “volatile” prices.

At any rate, precious metals outperformed stocks for the quarter, mostly by a wide margin. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq lost 14.29%, 12.81%, and 3.07% respectively.

2008 Gold, Platinum & Silver Performance

As trillions of dollars in equity values were vaporized this year, a strong November and December performance pushed gold into positive territory by year end. Gold’s annual gain was 4.32%. This marks gold’s eighth consecutive annual gain. The “lost decade” for stocks, has been quite the opposite for gold. Silver and platinum were less fortunate, posting losses of 26.90% and 41.31% respectively.

(Figures calculated from Kitco’s London PM Fix prices)

The headline numbers only tell part of the story. I rounded up a bit more data which paints a more complete picture of the 2008 performance of gold, silver, and platinum.

Gold Silver Platinum
Dec 31, 2007 Close 833.75 14.76 1530.00
Dec 31, 2008 Close 869.75 10.79 898.00
Annual Change +36.00 -3.97 -632.00
Percentage Change +4.32% -26.90% -41.31%
2008 Low 712.50 8.88 763.00
Change from start to low -121.25 -5.88 -767.00
Percentage Change -14.54% -39.84% -50.13%
2008 High 1011.25 20.92 2273.00
Change from start to high +177.50 +6.16 +743.00
Percentage Change +21.29% +41.73% +48.56%

The first section of the table above shows the performance of gold, silver, and platinum from start to finish during 2008. The second section lists the lowest closing price for each metal during 2008, and calculates the percentage change from the start of the year to the low price. The final section lists the highest closing price for each metal during the year, and the percentage change from start of the year to the high price.

Some observations:

Often when the mainstream press writes about gold as a potential investment option, they usually caution that prices are “extremely volatile.” A look at the figures above shows otherwise. While it seemed like a year of extremes for gold, at its lowest it was down 14% and at its highest it was up 21%, probably making it one of the least volatile investments of 2008.

Platinum, which is starting to draw my interest, basically went straight up during the month of February to its peak price of $2,273 per ounce. Then it experienced three months of nearly continuous declines from mid-July to mid-October where it reached its low of $743 per ounce. At its high it was up nearly 50%, at its low it was down more than 50%. Briefly, the price of gold exceeded the price of platinum, but the situation has now reverted to the norm.

Silver experienced a similar plight, up more than 40% at its peak and down more than 40% at its low. The period of decline also took place from mid-July to mid-October. Many have pointed to the enormous concentrated short position taken by a handful of banks in July as responsible for the decline.

On a housekeeping note:

Sorry for the lack of posting on Gold and Silver Blog during the end of December. I should be back on a regular schedule for the new year. I aso plan to add some new sections to the site, which compile historical data relevant to gold and silver watchers. Thanks for reading and let’s make 2009 a great year!