Libyan rebels just seized up to $100bn cash & gold

January 22, 2015 at 19:30


Fighters loyal to a renegade general in Libya just seized a Central Bank facility in the coastal city of Benghazi that houses a reported $100 billion in cash and gold. Libya's ongoing civil war has split the country between an Islamist-supported central government based in Tripoli and a rival nationalist administration held together by the renegade general Khalifa Hifter and based in the eastern city of Tobruk. But the country had a couple of remaining bright spots, including Africa largest proven oil reserves, an oil industry positioned just across the Mediterranean Sea from western Europe, and a reported $113 billion in foreign currency, according to Al Hayat. ...

British Royal Mint revives 'refinery' brand for bullion bars

January 22, 2015 at 09:07


The Royal Mint is to produce gold and silver bars under its "refinery" brand, last used nearly 50 years ago. It is the first time since 1968 that the public will be able to own bars imprinted "RMR", standing for Royal Mint Refinery. The Royal Mint Refinery operated in London for more than 100 years, purifying gold and silver bullion from places such as South Africa. However, production stopped at the end of the 1960s. The largest bar on offer will be 100g of either gold or silver. According to current prices, a 100g bar of 24 carat gold costs £2,868. The 100g bar of fine silver costs £71. The new 100g fine silver bar currently costs £71 Investment po...

Bull run or bear trap?

January 22, 2015 at 09:02


Gold has been on an upward tear these last few sessions, suggesting that there is every possibility a bull phase has begun for the monetary metal based on certain macro-economic factors. But does the current move portend a trend? Or is this just yet another one of those booby traps gold’s market puppeteers are now famous for? Is gold going to climb into the near-$1,400 range before Jeffrey Currie proclaims “Short Gold!”, presaging an utterly reckless overnight sell-off of gold futures overnight in Tokyo? Or, is gold going to resume its relentless climb akin to the 2002 to 2011 period, where each year gold notched double digit gains? Will we actually see gold at ...

Franc farce the tipping point

January 21, 2015 at 11:02


A referendum in November to force the Swiss National Bank to hold 20% of its reserves in gold, bring back any bullion held outside its borders and halt all sales, failed to garner the necessary vote after serious lobbying by the central bank of the European nation. But the SNB's surprise announcement that it's ending its cornerstone monetary policy in place since September 2011 – pegging the franc against the euro at 1.20 – may now be doing more for the prospects of the metal than a yes vote in the poll would have. Switzerland was late coming off the gold standard and as recently as 1999 its constitution required the franc to be 40% backed by gold. Then, in the year...

Gold/oil ratio says crisis

January 21, 2015 at 10:41


Market developments over the past six months have created an environment where a “crisis” seems all but inevitable. The world’s reserve currency, USD, is now 17% stronger than it was in June on a trade-weighted basis. Europe and Japan, the world’s largest and fourth largest economies, are in recession, while China, the third largest economy, is getting ready to lower growth forecasts. Indicative of weak demand, the CRB Commodity Index is down 41% since its 2011 peak. The world’s most important commodity, crude oil, has fallen more than 60% since June. Economists are still divided about whether or not cheaper oil is good for the economy. The bullish camp argues that...

Gold targets $1300 next

January 20, 2015 at 11:50


Spot gold traded as high as $US1,294.18 a 20 week high in European trading Tuesday. Gold is often considered a hedge against social or economic risk and demand for the metal tends to rise during periods of uncertainty. The recent move by the Swiss central bank to abandon its currency cap against the euro sent shock waves through global markets, prompting a rush of gold buying. Also in Europe, the region's economy is slack, unemployment is high in many countries, and eurozone consumer prices fell on an annual basis for the first time in over five years. And markets are focused on the European Central Bank, which is poised to head into uncharted territory as it nea...

Top forecaster sees 2015 high for silver at $21.75 & gold $1450

January 20, 2015 at 11:39


In his submissions to this year’s LBMA precious metals forecasting competition, Ross Norman who heads up London bullion broker Sharps Pixley, and who has been probably the most successful forecaster in the LBMA panel in the past, says he is going out on a limb with his forecast for the gold price average this year at $1321. He is also looking for a gold price high of $1,450 and a low of $1,170 during the year.  The LBMA is expected to publish its full listing of its annual competition forecasts later this week, along with the analyst participants’ reasons for their predictions. Norman has been the outright winner of the price forecasting sections of the LBMA compet...