Gold News

Gold Dealers Cut Shanghai Premium as Chinese New Year Begins But Price Jumps Ahead of US Fed "Taper" Vote

GOLD DEALERS in London's professional market quoted prices above $1269 per ounce lunchtime Wednesday, up 1.4% from last night's low as European stock markets slipped – and the Euro currency fell hard – ahead of today's US Fed taper decision.
 
"It is likely that the expected reduction in QE of $10 billion has already been factored in," says one Asian gold dealer's desk in a note.
 
But either way, "combined with the upcoming Chinese holidays, there will be little [fundamentally] in the pipeline to help gold and silver higher short term."
 
With the Chinese New Year holidays starting tomorrow, gold dealer premiums above London's international benchmark fell to $5.50 at Wednesday's close in Shanghai, down from 6-month highs of $20 per ounce at the start of January.
 
Dealing volumes also fell once again, dropping to the smallest level so far this year.
 
"Shipments to the Far East have remained relatively quiet in early 2014," says the latest Precious Metals Weekly from London-based consultancy Metals Focus.
 
"To a large extent, this should be attributed to a rapid rise in local inventory in August-November 2013...in order to avoid running out of stocks before the Chinese New Year."
 
Following "strong offtake" by manufacturers, however, end-retail consumer demand is also now "robust" says the report, citing local media and major jewelry-brand dealers.
 
Over in Turkey, the world's fourth largest private gold consumer – and the No.1 buyer of gold coins – the central bank today hiked its key interest rate from 7.75% to 12.00% in a bid to buoy the Lira from record lows on the currency market.
 
A growing smuggling and corruption scandal around gold dealer Safir Altin Ticaret's CEO Riza Sarraf – an Iranian emigre who claims nearly half Turkey's surging gold exports were done by his company in 2012 – has now cost the jobs of 3 cabinet ministers, reports Bloomberg, threatening the Erdogan government and adding to pressure on the Lira and Istanbul's stock market.
 
Platinum prices meantime rose 1.0% as news broke that South African police today fired rubber bullets at AMCU union strikers outside Anglo American Platinum's Khuseleka project in the north-west of the country. 
 
Amplats – one of the world's 3 largest platinum miners, meeting today with AMCU leaders to resolve strikes which have hit 40% of world production – meantime said its Q4 output rose 25% in 2013, reaching 16.1 tonnes despite the loss of 1.4 tonnes of output to industrial action.
 
Platinum's premium above gold prices slipped Wednesday morning to $150 per ounce in London trade, down from the 3-year records hit mid-month at $220.
 
Prices of  wholesale silver bullion bars had earlier lagged the rise in gold quotes, but jumped at the start of US Comex dealing to stand 2.2% higher from London's open and recover the week's starting level of $19.92 per ounce.

Adrian Ash is director of research at BullionVault, the world-leading physical gold, silver and platinum market for private investors online. Formerly head of editorial at London's top publisher of private-investment advice, he was City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning from 2003 to 2008, and he has now been researching and writing daily analysis of precious metals and the wider financial markets for over 20 years. A frequent guest on BBC radio and television, Adrian is regularly quoted by the Financial Times, MarketWatch and many other respected news outlets, and his views from inside the bullion market have been sought by the Economist magazine, CNBC, Bloomberg, Germany's Handelsblatt and FAZ, plus Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews.

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