Gold Price News
GLD and SLV Grow, Coin Dealers 'Awash' with Metal as Gold and Silver Fall Ahead of the Fed
Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:59:01 +0000
GOLD PRICES rallied for the second time in two sessions from a dip below $1310 per ounce in London on Tuesday, holding onto a slight gain for 2018 to date against the Dollar ahead of tomorrow's US Federal Reserve decision on interest rates, widely expected to bring the first of four quarter-point hikes this year.
World stock markets steadied as Facebook (Nasda:FB) held onto yesterday's 12% plunge as founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was summoned by the UK Parliament's inquiry into 'Fake News' in relation to data consultants Cambridge Analytica's apparent abuse of FB's user privacy.
Silver extended the dip in gold prices, touching its lowest Dollar level since 22nd December in wholesale bullion trade at $16.13 per ounce.
Versus the British Pound, silver prices fell to £11.55 – the lowest since just before the UK's shock Brexit referendum result of June 2016 – as Sterling rose again amid the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and their families over the Skripal nerve agent poisoning.
With the UK Government today under attack from so-called Brexiteers over its "transition" exit deal with the European Union, new data said Tuesday that consumer-price inflation in the world's 5th largest national economy slipped back to 2.7% per year in February, retreating further from November's 5.5-year high of 3.1% as "the price of petrol and food played a key part" in lowering the rate of growth.
Tuesday's trading however saw Brent crude oil rise back towards the highest since January's 3-year highs, rising above $67.50 per barrel.
Major government bond prices fell, edging 10-year US interest rates up to 2.88% and reversing last week's move.
Giant gold-backed investment vehicle the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD) meantime reported its heaviest 1-day growth since 18th January for Monday, with its sharpest month-on-month growth since 1st September at 2.8%.
On a rolling 22-day basis, the size of the GLD is now moving more strongly opposite to gold prices than any time since October.
Showing a median correlation from launch in 2003 to late 2017 of +0.42 with month-on-month changes in the gold price, the size of the GLD has switched to a -0.17 correlation with gold prices over the last half-year.
Chart of GLD gold ETF backing in bullion vs gold price. Source: BullionVault
Data for end-December put the proportion of GLD shares held by investment institutions and professional fund managers at 39.8%, the highest level since the UK's Brexit referendum shock of Q2 2016.
"Those investors who bought and held gold out of fear of economic chaos have been pulling back from gold," said a recent presentation from US-based consultancy CPM Group, "while investors more interested in capital appreciation have been buying."
Reporting dismal US retail investment gold coin and small-bar demand in its latest market update, "Some might argue that the US Mint has become a victim of its own success," say specialist analysts Thomson Reuters GFMS, "and every coin it sold in its [global financial crisis] glory days was in fact a golden nail in its own coffin.
"We don't want to take it that far, but do acknowledge the unwillingness of the North American retail market to absorb more newly fabricated metal...A lot of trading has shifted to the secondary market, where discounts to newly fabricated products [have] retreated to unprecedented lows."
Turning to silver coins, "Wholesalers are currently awash with inventory," said longstanding coin dealers Asset Strategies International in a note to clients on Monday.
In contrast, the largest silver-backed ETF – the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca:SLV) – has swollen in size by 1.8% as silver bullion prices have fallen 8% from late-January's 4-month highs, needing almost 200 tonnes extra of bullion to back its shares in issue.
All told, the SLV ended Monday needing 9,942 tonnes of bullion backing – the largest size since prices fell below $16 per ounce in mid-December.
Putin Landslide and Brexit 'Deal' Sees Gold Price in GBP Hit 3-Month Low Ahead of US Fed and BoE Rate Decisions
Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:15:21 +0000
GOLD PRICES extended their losses on Monday morning in London after Russian President Vladimir Putin scored a landslide election victory ahead of interest-rate decisions by the US Fed and the Bank of England this week, writes Steffen Grosshauser at BullionVault. 
Already down 0.8% last week, gold priced in the Dollar slid to its lowest level since 1 March even as the US currency dropped on the FX market, falling from $1314 to $1307 per ounce to hold below its 100-day moving average – a key technical level for some analysts.
The UK gold price in British Pounds per ounce meantime sank to its lowest since mid-December at £931 per ounce as Sterling rose amid news of a Brexit "transition deal" between London and Brussels, extending elements of the UK's current relationship from March 2019 to December 2020.
Tensions between the UK and Russia worsened however after British foreign secretary Boris Johnson claimed that Moscow revived its Soviet-era chemical weapons program sometime in the last decade, with the nerve-agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia "overwhelmingly likely" to have been ordered by the Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin was re-elected as Russian president by a landslide on Sunday, albeit with observers reporting several instances of vote-rigging.
With betting that the US Federal Reserve will raise Dollar interest rates at its meeting on Wednesday now above 94%, hedge funds and other large speculators cut their bullish bets on gold derivatives last week, new data said late Friday.
Net of the group's bearish bets, the bullish position of Managed Money traders on Comex gold futures and options shrank 10% last week to the smallest net long position this year, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data.
The Managed Money category held onto a net bearish position on silver for the 5th week running, the longest since mid-2015.
Chart of Managed Money category's net betting in US$bn (notional total) on Comex gold and silver derivatives. Source: BullionVault
In contrast to derivatives betting, the largest gold-backed ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD), expanded last week to need 6.5 tonnes more gold backing, ending Friday with 838 tonnes.
The giant iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca:SLV) has now regained all of the 230-tonne outflow seen on January's sharp price rise, needing 9,922 tonnes to back its ETF shares.
Silver fell heavily on Monday, outpacing the drop in gold prices to reach $16.22 per ounce – a 2-week low when it touched this level last Friday.
Platinum prices briefly touched $941, the lowest level since 3 January, while sister-metal palladium traded sideways in a small range below the $1000 mark.
Gold Price Sinks as Nato Backs UK Over Russian Spy Poisoning, Moscow Hoards Record Reserves
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:30:31 +0000
GOLD PRICES sank on Friday despite yet worsening tensions over the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy in the UK, falling to 2-week lows versus the Dollar following stronger-than-expected US industrial output data.
Moscow is "overwhelmingly likely" to have ordered the attack on Russian defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a 'novichok' nerve agent said British foreign secretary Boris Johnson this morning.
The Kremlin maintains it had no involvement, calling the accusations by London – joined yesterday by Nato allies Washington, Paris and Berlin – "shocking and unforgivable".
"The UK is not alone," said Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg today. "All allies stand in solidarity with the UK."
Latest data say Russia was the heaviest central-bank gold buyer for the sixth year running in 2017, growing its bullion reserves to 1,857 tonnes, just behind China as the sixth largest national holder.
"In late-January, President Vladimir Putin said that the country's gold reserves were looking up," adds the Sputnik website – successor to Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti and Voice of Russia radio broadcaster – today.
In 2005 Putin publicly approved a 10% target for gold in Russia's central bank reserves.
That level was reached in 2014, rising since to almost 18% by end-2017 according to data compiled by market-development organization the World Gold Council.
"Russian gold mine production has been steadily growing over the past six years," says a note from Saida Litosh, precious metals manager at analysts Thomson Reuters GFMS, rising 6% in 2017 to "an all-time high of 269.4 tonnes" – putting it behind only China and Australia – "facilitated by...privatisation of state-owned gold mining companies as well as consolidation of smaller gold producers."
Analysis by BullionVault says that since 2013, when the Ukraine crisis first broke – and with Western sanctions starting the following year then hurting international sales of Russian-mined gold – Moscow's central bank has bought 70% of the country's domestic mine output.
Chart of Russia annual gold mine output vs its central-bank buying. Source: BullionVault
Russia is meantime "preparing to sell $7bn of bonds" into the European debt market today, the FT reports "in an apparent show of defiance at international condemnation of its suspected involvement."
This follows Wednesday's €750m debt placement through London by Russia state-owned emergy giant Gazprom.
Dropping to $1311 per ounce on Friday, the gold price fell as the Dollar rose after new data said US industrial output rose 1.1% last month from January, more than 3 times Wall Street's consensus estimate.
The UK gold price in Pounds per ounce dropped to £941, down over 2% since news of the Skripal poisoning broke and near the metal's 2017 lows for British investors.
Gold Price Unmoved, Hits 5-Week Low vs GBP as US Backs UK Over Russian Spy Attack
Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:17:28 +0000
GOLD PRICES were unmoved Thursday by worsening tensions between Nato and Russia over the poisoning in Britain of a former spy, holding $5 below last week's finish to trade at $1318 per ounce as world stock markets also held flat overall.
Silver also slipped, trading 1% down for the week so far at $16.43 as major Western bond prices rose, edging interest rates down.
Russian bond yields rose as Moscow debt prices slipped, pushing the gap above US Treasury yields to the widest in a year according to Reuters data.
France, Germany and the United States today agreed "solidarity" with the UK, saying there is "no plausible alternative explanation" other than that the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin – set for re-election as Russian president this weekend – ordered the "first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War" when Sergei Skripal and his daughter came into contact with the deadly novichok nerve agent in the English cathedral city of Salisbury 10 days ago.
"We hold Russia culpable for this brazen, brazen act and despicable act," said UK Prime Minister Theresa May, visiting the scene of the poisoning.
The UK gold price in Pounds per ounce fell to a 5-week low beneath £945 as Sterling rose on the FX market, returning to yesterday's 1-month highs against the Russian Ruble and less than 2% off February's 15-month high.
Chart of the UK gold price in Pounds per ounce. Source: BullionVault
The Moscow stock market held unchanged from Wednesday's 1-month closing low, while London's FTSE100 index traded flat around 1-week lows.
Commodities held flat overall as the drop in metals offset a rise in energy prices.
Announcing the explusion of 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday, May also said she is discusing Russia's use of energy supplies "as a means of influence" plus the "wider energy security issue" with her counterparts in the European Union, which Britain is set to leave next March.
Now the No.1 oil supplier to China, Russia is sending less and lower-quality crude westwards to Europe, the Platts data and news agency said last week.
While Russia's exports of natural gas to Europe rose 8.1% in 2017 to a new record, its shipments to the UK fell slightly, accounting for around one-fifth of Britain's supplies according to Reuters.
UK energy regulator Ofcom says Russia's state-owned Gazprom was the No.2 supplier to Britain's largest industrial consumers last year. 
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in contrast said Thursday that "less than 1% of our gas comes from Russia and [we] are in no way reliant on it."
New data meantime said US price inflation for both imported and exported goods slowed in February, defying analyst forecasts.
Last week's claims for jobless benefits also came in below expectations however, pointing to continued strength in the US jobs market after February's 18-month record addition to non-farm payrolls.
So-called digital asset Bitcoin rose back above $8,000 per unit on Thursday – down 60% from December's record high – after plunging more than one-tenth to 1-month lows following news that internet search giant Google will ban all advertising for crypto currencies and related services from June.
Gold Prices Fall vs Sterling, Moscow Equities Drop as UK-Russia Tensions Worsen
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 15:40:15 +0000
GOLD PRICES spiked to a 1-week high before retreating against a volatile US Dollar in London trade Wednesday as Russia promised retailiation over the UK expelling 23 diplomats as "undeclared intelligence officers" following the poisoning of a former spy with toxic nerve agent.
The UK also said it is tightening checks on Russian state-owned assets in Britian, and the Royal family will not attend this summer's football World Cup, but it stopped short of announcing fresh financial sanctions against the No.2 gold mining nation.
Dropping from $1329 in Asia to stand in line with last week's finish at $1323 by early New York trade, Dollar prices today marked the 10th anniversary of $1000 gold.
"We consider this hostile action as totally unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted," said the Russian Embassy in London of the UK Government's action, putting "all the responsibility for the deterioration of the Russia-UK relationship [on] the current political leadership of Britain."
The Ruble fell today to 1-month lows against the British Pound, weakening by 12% from this time last year, while Russian gold prices held firm around RUB 75,000 per ounce as the currency weakened.
Russian gold prices set all-time record highs as the Ruble sank amid the wave of financial and personal sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies over Moscow's annexation of former Russian territory Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine starting in 2014.
Chart of gold priced in Russian Rubles, month average. Source: St.Louis Fed
The UK gold price in Pounds per ounce meantime fell again to £946 on Wednesday, near its cheapest so far in March and £120 below the 3-year high hit on Britain's shock EU exit referendum result in mid-2016.
London's FTSE100 index of primarily international corporations held flat in Sterling terms, some 8% below January's new all-time high.
Russia's stock market fell hard for the day, but held within 3% of end-February's new 10-year highs.
Platinum prices meantime fell steeply after touching 1-week highs above $973, erasing all of its gains from last Friday to trade back at $965 per ounce.
"Platinum closed above the 200-day moving average yesterday, and today crossed above the 100-day moving average," says a technical trading note from Belgian refining group Umicore.
"If there are enough buyers, it might be possible to see further gains up to $982 or even up to $990."
"Platinum recently took support at $941," says a separate technical analysis from French investment and London bullion market-making bank Societe Generale, saying that level "represents the down-sloping trend drawn since 2014 highs.
"A move beyond $972 will mean a rebound towards $988 and even $998," reckons SocGen's team, pointing to "the upper limit" of a channel drawn on platinum's hourly price charts.
Over in Frankfurt meantime today, "There is a very clear condition for us to bring net asset purchases to an end," said European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi in a speech on quantitative easing and interest rates.
"We need to see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation [up] toward our aim."
"The ECB balance sheet keeps growing as Draghi continues buying bonds," tweeted German new group Welt's senior financial editor Holger Zschäpitz last week, noting how new data showed total assets at Eurosystem central banks reaching a fresh high of €4.5 trillion thanks to ongoing QE.
"The volume of the balance sheet now equals to 41.9% of Eurozone GDP vs 22.3% in the US."
Gold Price Spikes vs. Dollar as Trump Sacks Tillerson 'Cos of Russia', Inflation Rises
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 15:10:48 +0000
GOLD PRICES leapt against a sinking Dollar on Tuesday but quickly fell back after US consumer prices showed the fastest inflation in 6 months and US President Donald Trump sacked his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with a tweet, one day after Tillerson called Russia "a force for instability in the world."
Trump had tweeted overnight that the House Intelligence Committee "found no evidence of collusion or coordination" between his 2016 election campaign and the Kremlin.
"Quickest way to get fired by Trump isn't misuse of taxpayer funds, domestic violence or lying," tweeted Republican senator Joe Kennedy after today's news.
"A relatively quiet session ahead of the US CPI [inflation] data," said Tuesday's gold trading note from refining and finance group MKS Pamp.
"The [Shanghai] premium remains around $8," MKS said – in line with the typical incentive for new imports to China, the No.1 consumer nation – "but there has not been enough buying action to support the market in the face of a sharply rising USD/JPY."
Also rising against the Euro overnight, the Dollar rose above ¥107 in terms of Japanese Yen ahead of Tuesday's inflation data and the latest White House sacking – its highest level so far in March.
Versus the Dollar, gold has moved in the same direction as the Japanese Yen in 41 of the last 52 weeks.
Across the last 47 years of free floating exchange rates, that's just shy of the record 43-week co-movement seen in the 12 months to October 1984.
Chart of gold priced in Dollars vs. the Dollar's exchange rate in Japanese Yen. Source: St.Louis Fed
Backing the United Kingdom in blaming the Kremlin for poisoning a former Russian double-agent with a chemical weapon on UK soil, "It certainly will trigger a response" under the 'mutual defense' clause of the Nato military alliance, Tillerson told reporters Monday.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May gave Vladimir Putin a deadline of midnight tonight to explain how deadly novichok – believed to have been developed by Soviet military labs in the 1970s – came to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, both still in critical condition in hospital since the attack in cathedral city Salisbury on 4 March.
"It's hard to see," says the Christian Science Monitor, "how Vladimir Putin...set to be handily reelected next Sunday to manifest his threats to the West in the form of late-generation nuclear missiles, could possibly benefit from the brutal murder of an obscure former turncoat who was pardoned and exchanged for captured Russian spies nearly a decade ago.
"The response by Russia will be considered on Wednesday," says Sky News, "when Mrs May will give a statement on the range of options available."
Gold priced in Dollars today shot nearly $10 higher per ounce to near 1-week highs at $1326 within 30 minutes of Trump tweeting news of Tillerson's replacement by former CIA chief Mike Pompeo.
Priced in the Euro however gold held unchanged around €1070 while the UK gold price in British Pounds per ounce fell beneath $£950, the lowest in 2 weeks.
Consumer prices in the US rose 2.2% last month from February 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, edging up from January's 2.1% annual pace.
Stripping out food and fuel, so-called "core" inflation held at 1.8%.
Betting that the US Federal Reserve will fail to raise interest rates as expected at its March meeting next week rose this morning to 14.0% of speculative bets, according to data from the CME derivatives exchange.
Sharply higher from last week's finish at 9.8% however, that was barely half the level of betting on "no change" seen this time last month.
Gold prices meantime fell back to $1323 in Dollar terms Tuesday, holding in line with last week's close.
Gold Prices Fall, Silver Spec's Still Bearish as Attention Turns to the Fed
Mon, 12 Mar 2018 14:13:37 +0000
GOLD PRICES started the week lower against a falling US Dollar on Monday, while equity markets surged after Friday's strong US job data eased fears of inflation, writes Steffen Grosshauser at BullionVault.
With the US central bank expected to hike interest rates at its March meeting next week, gold fell 0.5% even as the Dollar dropped on the FX market, touching what technical analysts called "nearby support" at $1317 per ounce after finishing last week almost unchanged at $1323.
US data showed on Friday a strong increase of more than 300,000 new jobs in February but a slowdown in wage growth, easing concerns that the Fed could hike rates more quickly than expected. 
Asian and European equity markets surged Monday morning to a 2-week high, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rising for a sixth day and setting its longest winning streak since October.
Silver tracked gold prices lower, falling back to $16.45 per ounce after also recovering last week's earlier losses by Friday's finish.
"We expect gold prices to trade lower on Monday as robust US nonfarm payrolls numbers boost global risk appetite," according to Indian stock brokers Angel Commodities.
"We still are somewhat wary on gold short-term," agrees brokerage INTL FCStone's analyst Edward Meir, "as we suspect that the precious metal will struggle on account of a stronger Dollar...closer to the Fed meeting [next week]."
Hedge funds and other leveraged speculators modestly raised their bullish bets on Comex gold in the week to 6 March, according to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data.
Remaining negative in contrast on silver futures and options overall for the fourth week running, the 'Managed Money' category held gold bets some 31% more bullish than that group's historic average at the close of last Tuesday's trade.
Investor interest meantime held unchanged last week in the world's largest bullion-backed trust funds, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca:SLV).
Chart of Managed Money category's net betting on Comex gold futures and options. Source: BullionVault via CFTC
"[Gold] could be overwhelmed by headwinds of higher bond yields and a stronger US Dollar," warns exchange-traded trust fund provider ETF Securities' Maxwell Gold.
Bond yields slipped Monday, as did the Dollar. That helped cut gold prices for Euro investors back towards last week's 2.5-month lows at €1065.
"Precious metals [will] follow the familiar pattern of selling off ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision and then rallying once investors gauge the underlying trajectory of interest rates for the rest of the year," ETFS's Gold believes.
But "the labour report that we saw in the US on Friday has spilled over into this week [and a] slowdown in the growth of wages last month has certainly eased concerns about more aggressive rate hikes," says analyst Daniel Hynes at Australian bank ANZ.
Gold Prices Bounce After N.Korea 'Dotard-Rocket Man' Drop as US Job Growth Leaps
Fri, 09 Mar 2018 15:25:19 +0000
GOLD PRICES bounced late-Friday to end the week unchanged per ounce after the United States reported the strongest jobs growth in 19 months.
Rallying to $1323 as London trade ended, the gold price had earlier slipped to 7-session lows at $1314 after Donald Trump became the first US president to announce a meeting with the leader of Stalinist dictatorship North Korea.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' first estimate then said US payrolls expanded by 313,000 last month, the largest jump since July 2016.
The number of people seeking working also grew, rising to 63.0% – a three-decade low when first reached in late 2013 – and holding the unemployment rate at 4.1%. 
Average wage-growth slowed to 2.6% per year from January's pop above 8-year highs.
Gold priced in Dollars briefly spiked on the news before retreating to $1316, down some 0.5% for the week, only to regain that drop as silver prices also rallied above last Friday's closing level, trading at $16.60 per ounce.
World stock markets were also little changed overall, together with major bond yields and commodity prices.
Chart of US non-farm payrolls (monthly change) vs. Dollar gold price. Source: St.Louis Fed
The metal had already slipped overnight after South Korea's national security advisor, having briefed the US President at the White House, told reporters that Trump has accepted an invitation to visit North Korea and meet with dictator Kim Jong-un, to discuss the pariah state's nuclear weapons program.
"Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze," Trump tweeted. "Great progress...but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!"
"It would be a pleasant surprise if the Dotard-Rocket Man meeting achieves more than a meeting for a meeting's sake," says a column at the Korea Times.
"If history is any guide, on the heels of every positive development, there are always disturbances to dash the hope of a smooth path toward a peaceful solution," says China's official news agency Xinhua.
"[Gold] selling began to very gradually pick up steam following the headline," says today's Asian trading note from Swiss refiners MKS Pamp.
The Bank of Japan meantime left its QE and negative interest-rate policies unchanged at Friday's meeting, but Haruhiko Kuroda – now appointed for a second 5-year term as BoJ chief – warned against the US steel and aluminum tariffs signed into law by President Trump yesterday, echoing criticism from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.
"If you put tariffs against your allies, one wonders who the enemies are," said Draghi on Thursday.
"Protectionist policies have negative implications," said Kuroda today, "such as preventing imports needed for your own country.”
China's longstanding central-bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan – set to stand down after 17 years later this month – meantime said Friday that the world's No.2 economy "is likely to reduce reliance" on monetary stimulus to support economic growth, aiming to cut the country's rising debt leverage.
The PBoC will also "look for opportunities to advance the progress" in financial deregulation and reform, Zhou told a press conference at this week's first annual session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing, opening up to foreign investment and banks which meet its entry and compliance rules.
Money-market rates eased lower in China this week, Reuters reports, as the People's Bank injected liquidity to dampen any financial volatility during the annual meeting of parliament.
China's consumer-price inflation beat expectations for February at 2.9% per year, the fastest pace since late 2013, new figures said this morning.
The NPC is set to remove term limits from the role of Chinese president in a vote on Sunday, enabling current leader Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.
"Gold [last week] staged the expected down move towards graphical levels of $1308/1300," says a technical analysis from London bullion market makers Societe Generale, where the metal's 100-day moving average also coincides with "the 50% retracement" from December's low to February's high.
"[This] pullback should find immediate support at $1317/1312," SocGen adds, saying that "$1308/1300 remains an important support."
Gold and Silver Trading Down to New Euro Lows as ECB Cuts 42 Words on QE
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:22:24 +0000
GOLD and SILVER TRADING in London's wholesale bullion market saw prices hold firm in everything but the single Euro currency on Thursday as the European Central Bank dropped a commitment to boost its QE stimulus if the economic or financial outlook worsens.
Platinum prices also fell hard against the Euro as the ECB cut 42 words first used in March 2016 from its monetary policy statement.
In effect, the 19-nation central bank today said that no longer will it "stand ready to increase" or extend its monthly quantitative-easing purchases of Eurozone government or corporate debt.
But it will continue with QE at the current monthly pace of €30 billion, "intended to run until the end of September 2018, or beyond, if necessary."
Dollar, Sterling and Yen gold prices held little changed, with US quotes trading in line with last week's finish at $1325 per ounce.
But the Euro gold price fell steeply as the single currency jumped in frantic FX trading, dropping beneath €1066 per ounce for the first time since before Christmas.
Chart of the gold price in Euros per ounce and per kilo. Source: BullionVault
Platinum priced in Euro terms fell harder still, dropping below €724 per ounce for the first time in 12 weeks.
"Concerns about automotive demand continue to weigh negatively on platinum sentiment," says the mining-backed World Platinum Investment Council today, releasing full-year 2017 global supply and demand data and pointing to a 3% annual drop in industrial platinum demand for autocatalysts to clean emissions from diesel engines.
"We believe that these concerns are overdone," WPIC's CEO Paul Wilson says, "with other positive dynamics almost offsetting the drag from declines in Western Europe diesel share."
Silver also sank versus the Euro on Thursday, dropping again to €13.25 per ounce – a level seen last month for the time since July last year.
Latest data from London's bullion clearing banks say that silver trading volumes fell in January from end-2017's spike to two-decade highs.
Slipping 6% from December however, silver trading through London – heart of the world's bullion market – still totalled 2.2 times the last 20 years' monthly average according to the five banks reporting data as the London Precious Metals Clearing Ltd.
Gold trading volumes, in contrast, fell almost 17% from December's jump to the highest since Spring 2013's crash in bullion prices on the LPMCL figures, relayed by trade body the London Bullion Market Association.
Monthly chart of London bullion clearing banks' average daily volumes in gold and silver. Source: BullionVault via LBMA via LPMCL
Establishing a new legal entity with the UK registrar in September 2017, the five member banks – HSBC, ICBC Standard, J.P.Morgan, Scotiabank and UBS – put the old structure into voluntary liquidation last October, filings show at Companies House.
"One of the benefits of the new structure has been to make the LPMCL more accessible to new members and to clarify the entry requirements," says a statement from Ruth Crowell – CEO of the LBMA, which is also registered as an officer of the new company – quoted today by Reuters.
With no on-the-record comment coming from any of the 5 member banks, "You can't have three or four banks making up reasons why people can't join," Reuters quotes a source at one of the LPMCL operators.
"We spent a lot of time with lawyers making sure it stood up to regulatory scrutiny."
Back in Frankfurt Thursday, and with Eurozone member state Latvia's chief central banker unable to attend the ECB meeting because of a corruption investigation, "Today's decision was unanimous," said ECB President Mario Draghi.
"Monetary stimulus remains necessary...[and] continued support is provided by the net purchases, the sizeable stock of assets, the forthcoming reinvestments, and by forward guidance on rates."
'Red Hot' US Jobs Data See Gold Bullion Lose 1-Week High as 'Trade War' Hits Yen, Beijing
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 13:52:27 +0000
GOLD BULLION slipped against a weakening Dollar in London trade Wednesday, retreating $10 from a 1-week high at $1340 per ounce as talk of a global 'trade war' spurred by US President Donald Trump grew yet again following the resignation of his top economic advisor, Gary Cohn.
After new data showed US factory orders falling steeper than expected in January, private-sector payrolls provider ADP today said the world's largest economy added more jobs than analysts forecast in February, with January's figure also revised higher.
"The [US] job market is red hot and threatens to overheat...with government spending increases and tax cuts," says rating agency Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi.
Major government bond prices rose, nudging interest rates lower, as European equities held flat and Asian stock markets closed the day around 1% down.
"There is now no one with the ear of the president who is a supporter of the existing trade system," says Council on Foreign Relations trade specialist Edward Alden.
"Trump will likely feel liberated by [ex-Goldman Sachs banker Cohn's exit]...It will only reinforce his own protectionist convictions."
No.2 gold-mining nation Australia – set for new record-high bullion output in 2018 according to consultants Surbiton Associates – meantime revised its end-2017 GDP growth lower on Wednesday to 2.4% per year.
Japan's economic indicators index for February fell to an 8-month low, falling at the fastest pace since the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of March 2011.
"In Asia today gold opened $4 higher as USD/JPY plunged below ¥106," says a trading note from Swiss refiners and finance group MKS Pamp, pointing the Dollar's sharp overnight fall versus the Yen.
Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda last week hinted that Tokyo may be preparing to cut its massive QE stimulus program, "but the central bank has every interest in seeking a weak Yen," says a column at Bloomberg today, noting that "Japanese corporate earnings are highly cyclical [and] a strengthening Yen can cause stocks to plunge, depressing consumption and tipping the economy back into deflation."
The Bank of Japan next announces monetary policy this Friday.
Chart of US total trade balance ($m, left) vs. gold bullion price ($/oz, right). Source: St.Louis Fed
"The [gold bullion] market tested the $1340 level a couple of times during the [Asian] morning," MKS goes on, "but drifted lower on Chinese selling.
"We would expect to see buying $1320-25."
China's national gold bullion reserves were today reported as unchanged by weight for last month, down 2.0% by value in line with global Dollar prices.
China's total central-bank reserves of foreign currency fell to $3.134 trillion, down $27bn in for the first drop in 13 months as the Dollar strengthened in February.
Trade data from China – the world's No.2 exporter of goods behind Germany – are due tomorrow.
"The Trump administration is playing hardball with Beijing," says the South China Morning Post, reporting that the number of officials on last month's trade delegation to Washington was just a quarter of what China planned following objections from the White House.
"China is learning the hard way that this administration may not be the pushover that Chinese officials had come to believe it was," Bloomberg quotes former IMF China specialist Eswar Prasad.
"They may be forced to offer substantive concessions in order to keep the bilateral economic relationship on an even keel."
France's exports fell hard in January new data said Wednesday, widening the No.2 Eurozone economy's trade deficit.
UK house prices rose last month at the slowest pace in 5 years according to mortgage lender Halifax.
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