Currencies and bonds rose this week, while stocks and commodities were mixed. The strongest asset class was crude oil, which gained 9.8%, while the weakest was silver, which lost 1.2%.

Among the currencies, Bitcoin made the largest gains, rising 2.4%. The USD and EUR rose 1.2% each, and even the weakest currencies, the CNY and CAD, gained 0.8%. Short term treasuries tracked the dollar's 1.2% gain while long term treasury bonds gained 1.7%.

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Stocks, bonds, and currencies (other than Bitcoin) were weaker this week, while commodities, with the exception of copper, were higher. 

Among the government issued currencies, the Japanese Yen was weakest, falling 2.8%, while the Euro was the "least weak", declining only 0.3%. The US Dollar ended 2012 right at its 200 day moving-average, pushed above it in early January – reaching 18.9 mg on Jan 7th, 10.1% above the half-life predicted value – and has since retreated, ending this week at 18.4 mg, down 1.2%, and sitting 7.8% above the half-life curve forecast.

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With fiat currencies all over the world being manipulated by central banks, prices are being distorted beyond all recognition. Successful investing requires having a good idea what things cost, and what they are really worth – and using the world's oldest and most stable form of money, gold, to compare prices is one way to get that insight. Below you'll find a sample of prices measured in grams or milligrams (1/1000 of a gram) of gold.

More on The Week in Gold – Food Prices

Subscriber Ian Shearer recently wrote to point out that although the site covers the price of Oil, the world's most traded commodity, we're missing the number 2 commodity, coffee! Given the number of espressos we make around here every day, that is an omission that had to be corrected.

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Recently I was in Vancouver, BC for the Agora Financial Symposium, which carried the tagline "A View from the Peak". There were many peaks discussed and analyzed: oil, food, water and debt, to name a few. The price of gold and silver got a lot of discussion, and forecasts abounded. Discussions and opinions were not limited to the speakers, of course – the hallways, restaurants and sidewalks were filled with animated discourse, colorful scenarios and useful information. As you can guess, I loved every minute of it!

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Here are excerpts from three news stories from 7-Mar-2008, as they were written, and as I would read them. In each case, I have simply taken the USD figures given in the story and converted them to gold grams, then reworded the story to fit the new numbers. In some cases, I've added YTD data to put the reported figures in a larger perspective.

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