The Chinese state could be behind a surge in bullion imports that will see China overtake India as the world’s largest consumer of gold, according to one of the sector’s most influential investors.
Evy Hambro, chief investment officer of BlackRock’s Natural Resources Equity team, said the investment community had been surprised by the amount of gold flowing into China given its position as the world’s biggest gold producer.
“The total amount of gold being consumed in China is a gigantic quantum and you have to wonder where that gold is going,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “Is it going on to wrists, ears and necks or is it going into state reserves?”
The People’s Bank of China has not provided an update on its bullion reserves since 2009, when it reported a holding of 1,054 tonnes. But the suspicion among some analysts is that China’s central bank has purchased up to 300 tonnes of gold this year.
If there was “clarity” on imports, Mr Hambro said it could provide a prop for the gold price, which has fallen sharply this year.
“I think we will need some clarity and that will really set the tone for gold in China in 2014,” he said. ”If it does start to show that some of it has gone into state hands that will be very supportive for the gold market.”
Bullion has lost more than a quarter of its value this year, falling from
On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — jumped $27.50 to close at $1,360.90 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for September soared $1.15 to finish at $22.94.
Both precious metals climbed significantly higher despite jobless claims reaching pre-recession levels. The Department of Labor on Thursday reported that new claims fell 15,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 335,000. This report painted a slightly better picture of the labor market.
“The data continues to improve and impress the marketplace, and I think the data will continue in this direction,” Bank of Nova Scotia’s head of treasuries, Charles Comiskey, told Reuters. ”Then the question becomes not whether they are tapering in September, but how much.”
While jobless claims provide the first look at the employment situation for any given month, the weekly figures can Read more…
Will oil soon be traded in a currency that is thousands of years old? What would a “gold for oil” system mean for the petrodollar and the U.S. economy? Are Russia and China hoarding massive amounts of gold because they plan to kill the petrodollar? Since the 1970s, the U.S. dollar has been the currency that the international community has used to trade oil around the globe. This has created an overwhelming demand for U.S. dollars and U.S. debt. But what happens when the rest of the globe starts rejecting the increasingly unstable U.S. dollar and figures out that gold can be used as a currency in international trade? The truth is that it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure that out. Demand for the U.S. dollar and U.S. debt would fall off the map and there would be a rush into gold unlike anything we have ever seen before. So are Russia and China accumulating unprecedented amounts of gold right now because they eventually plan to cut the legs out from under the petrodollar and they want to gobble up huge stockpiles of gold before the cat is out of the bag? Of course they will never admit this publicly, but there are Read more…
Last week the Houston City Council passed an ordinance requiring people who sell precious metals to be fingerprinted and photographed.
According to KTRK-TV, the ordinance is “meant to help track down criminals who try to resell stolen valuables. Gold-buying businesses will now be required to photograph and fingerprint sellers as well as photograph the items that are being sold to the dealer.” In other words, citizens who sell gold will be considered criminals until they demonstrate otherwise.
“It’s going to allow us the tools necessary to combat a lot of the high-end jewelry thefts that’s going on in the city, whether it’s robberies or burglaries,” Houston Police Officer Rick Barajas told the news station last Wednesday.
Audi S8s, Shelby Mustangs, BMW M5s, Dodge Chargers and Honda S2000 roadsters are stolen thousands of times a year and yet people who own them are not required by government to be fingerprinted and photographed in Read more…
Today acclaimed money manager Stephen Leeb stunned King World News when he said the Chinese may already have the world’s second largest gold reserves, eclipsing Germany to grab the number two spot. Leeb knows China is incredibly secretive about its insatiable accumulation of gold, and believes they are not fully disclosing their entire gold position to the world at this point. Here is what Leeb had to say: “I’m focused on precious metals and this fascinating battle between the East and the West, Eric, especially China and the United States. There is an economic ‘Battle Royale’ going on right now, and I think the Chinese definitely have the upper hand.”
Stephen Leeb continues:
“They have a stronger economy and a clear plan as to what they want to accomplish. They have a much longer-term perspective, and this spells very, very tough times for the United States.
I wish it weren’t true, and I wish this country would wake up. But everywhere I look right now I see limited Read more…
A bill to register gold and silver coins: It had to come. It has been introduced in Illinois, the most anti-gun state in the USA. … Creates the Precious Metal Purchasing Act. Provides that a person who is in the business of purchasing precious metal shall obtain a proof of ownership, create a record of the sale, and verify the identity of the seller. Provides that a person who is in the business of purchasing precious metal shall not pay for the precious metal in cash and shall record the method of payment. Requires the purchaser to keep a record of the sale for one year or, if the purchase amount is over $500, for 5 years. Provides that a person who violates the Act is guilty of a petty offense and subject to a fine not exceeding $500. Provides that the Attorney General may inspect records, investigate an alleged violation, and take action to collect civil penalties. − TeaPartyEconomist.com
Dominant Social Theme: This is to keep everyone safe.
Free-Market Analysis: Thanks to economist Gary North for this one. The bill, Illinois SB3144, passed the state senate in the spring and was handed off to the house this fall. With three Read more…
Regular readers are familiar with our monthly series showing the inexorable surge in Chinese gold imports. It is time for the November update, and it’s a doozy: at 90.8 tons, this was the second highest gross import number of 2012, double the 47 tons imported in October (which many saw, incorrectly, as an indication of China’s waning interest in the yellow metal), and brings the Year to Date total to a massive 720 tons of gold through November. If last year is any indication, the December total will be roughly the same amount, and will bring the total 2012 import amount to over 800 tons, double the 392.6 tons imported in 2011.
Indicatively, should the full year total import number indeed print in the 800 tons range, it will mean that in one year China, Read more…
Russia is bulking up its gold reserve
By Brett Arends
According to the World Gold Council, Russia has more than doubled its gold reserves in the past five years. Putin has taken advantage of the financial crisis to build the world’s fifth-biggest gold pile in a handful of years, and is buying about half a billion dollars’ worth every month.
It emerged last month that financial gurus George Soros and John Paulson had also increased their bullion exposure, but it’s Putin that’s really caught my eye.
No one else in the world plays global power politics as ruthlessly as Russia’s chilling strongman, the man who effectively stole a Super Bowl ring from Bob Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, when they met in Russia some years ago.
Putin’s moves may matter to your finances, because there are two ways to look at gold.
On the one hand, it’s an investment that by most modern standards seems to make no sense. It generates no cash flow and serves no practical purpose. Warren Buffett has pointed out that we Read more…
Silver prices touched their highest level in more than four months on Monday as the prospect of a fresh bout of quantitative easing from the US Federal Reserve rekindled interest in the precious metal.
Investors have largely shunned silver this year after being burnt by a year of wild price swings that saw it touch a 30-year high in April 2011 before plunging nearly 35 per cent in a fortnight.
But silver, whose primary use is industrial despite a recent surge in investor demand, has jumped 15.8 per cent in price in the past three weeks and on Monday peaked at $32.20 a troy ounce.
The gains have outpaced those of gold,
which has risen just 5.2 per cent over the same period.
The “mint ratio” between the two precious metals, a favorite trade of hedge funds and other investors, has moved 9 per cent in silver’s favour since mid-August – the first time silver has outperformed Read more…
Silver prices shot up 4.5 percent Tuesday, playing catch-up to gold.
Silver is both a precious and an industrial metal. Traders can buy it to hedge against a volatile stock market, as they do with gold. But it can also be used to make products like computer chips, meaning prices can rise when traders expect demand from manufacturers to go up.
In March contracts, silver rose $1.616 to $37.14 per ounce. It’s up roughly 10 percent from where it was a year ago.
Sterling Smith, senior market analyst at Country Hedging in St. Paul, Minn., said part of the reason silver is surging is that traders believe it’s Read more…
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