Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Mints in the US and Europe are reporting high levels of demand from investors buying gold and silver coins and bars.
Figures from the Austrian Mint showed that its sales of gold bullion were 57 per cent higher in 2015 than in 2014, and it is expecting another strong year in tandem with gold’s good performance in the first five months of the year.
The mint’s most popular bullion coin is the Gold Vienna Philharmonic, which was the world’s best-selling coin in 1992, 1995, 1996 and 2000. It looks like the strong performance of the mint in 2015 could see the coin reclaim that title.
The coin, which features images of instruments, was first introduced in 1989. It is available in one troy ounce, half troy ounce, quarter troy ounce and one tenth of an ounce weights.
The US Mint has reported similar impressive demand for its gold and silver coins so far this year.
Since January, investors have bought more than 406,500 troy ounces of gold coins, more than double the amount the US Mint sold in the first five months of 2015.
It comes as gold has been enjoying strong prices amid renewed concerns about the global economy and the international political environment. Investors are again heading to gold for its safe haven benefits.
The majority of the US gold coins sold – some 80 per cent – are the one troy ounce $50 American Eagle Coins.
Investors have also bought 40,000 half troy ounce $25 coins, 18,500 quarter troy ounce $10 coins and 42,000 $5 coins which weigh a tenth of a troy ounce, the mint said.
The US Mint also reported strong sales of its American Eagle silver bullion coins. In the year to May 23, it had sold 22,771,500 of the coins which have been available since January 11.
View The Gold Bullion Company's US Gold Coins for sale here.
Monday, May 23, 2016
A huge bank vault in London, designed to hold up to 2,000 tonnes of gold, silver, platinum and palladium, is being sold to China’s ICBC Standard Bank.
ICBC Standard, which is the world’s biggest bank by assets, is the first Chinese bank to buy a vault in the UK capital. It needs the facility as it grows its precious metals business and seeks to have a greater influence on the pricing, dealing and storage of gold bullion.
The vault is in a secret location and was originally built on behalf of Barclays. The UK bank, which is leaving the precious metals business as it seeks to downsize and refocus its operations, opened the vault in 2012.
It took more than a year to build and is believed to be one of the biggest precious metals storage facilities in Europe. Barclays has never been precise about the vault’s location due to security reasons, but has said it is within the M25 motorway area.
ICBC Standard Bank and Barclays are expecting to complete the deal by the summer. It will make the Chinese group the eighth provider of precious metal storage facilities in London, alongside names such as the Bank of England and JP Morgan Chase.
ICBC is keen to have a vault in London as it grows its precious metals business because the capital, along with New York, is at the heart of international gold trading. The London bullion market dealt with an estimated £3.5 trillion in gold deals in 2015.
China is the world’s biggest gold buyer and is responsible for more than 25 per cent of international demand for the precious metal.
ICBC's head of commodities Mark Buncombe told the BBC that buying the vault “enables us to better execute on our strategy to become one of the largest Chinese banks in the precious metals market”.
As part of that strategy, it has also joined London’s precious metals clearing system.
Monday, May 16, 2016
The price of gold surged by 17 per cent in the first quarter of this year – its best performance in almost 30 years.
The quarterly report into the precious metal by the World Gold Council also found that gold was one of the best performing assets on the global market between January and March this year.
Demand for gold rose by 21 per cent on the same period last year to stand at 1,290 tonnes. This was the second biggest quarterly figure ever recorded. The figure was boosted by demand from central banks, which bought 109 tonnes during the period.
The World Gold Council credited the strong figures to a mixture of political and financial concerns around the world. It said the uncertainty created by negative interest rate policies put in place in the Eurozone and Japan helped increase the attraction of gold among investors for its safe haven properties.
The report said: “Gold found favour for its role as an effective risk diversifier, enhanced by its added benefits of liquidity and relatively low volatility.
“Inflows were reportedly from a broad investor base, from institutional to private. Notably, there is anecdotal evidence that many of these inflows are from investors initiating or rebuilding strategic, long-term holdings after the wash-out of positions since early 2013.”
The gold price has also been bolstered by the weakening expectation of further rapid interest rate rises in the US. At the end of last year, the market was expecting the cost of borrowing to be increased again early in 2016 but this did not materialise, and the US Federal Reserve has taken a much more cautious approach than anticipated.
The changes in the international economic picture at the start of 2016 created an uncertain position that has benefited the gold price.
Today (16 May) at 08:00, gold was valued at £892.45 per troy ounce.
Monday, May 9, 2016
US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been revealed as a major gold investor.
The presumptive nominee for the Republican party’s battle for the White House owns between $100,000 and $200,000 (£69,000 and £138,600) in bullion in the form of coins and bars, according to his declaration to the Federal Election Committee.
Back in 2011, Trump received payment for a lease in Wall Street from a precious metal dealer in gold rather than cash. In a televised stunt, Michael Haynes paid over the rent to the businessman turned politician in the form of bullion, The Guardian reported.
At the time, Trump’s people said he had accepted the payment in gold because he was expecting the US dollar to fall in value, which would increase the value of gold. This didn’t happen: the gold value dipped for four years but the fortunes of the precious metal – just like Trump himself – are now on the rise.
Trump isn’t the only famous investor who is backing gold. Stanley Druckenmiller, a well-known name in the hedge fund world, recently told investors about his support for the precious metal.
Market watchers also expect the Trump effect to lead to a further increase in the value of gold during the race for the White House. They forecast greater geopolitical tensions to arise as the Presidential candidates continue to argue their respective corners, which will give a boost to gold because of its traditional position as a safe haven for cash in stormy waters.
The gold price has jumped strongly this year amid fears about both the global economy and political concerns. It has also been supported by the US Federal Reserve’s decision as yet to not raise interest rates again, despite expectations at the start of the year there could well be a number of increases in the cost of borrowing to come in 2016.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
The gold price steadied today (Thursday) after suffering small losses this week on the back of a rebound in the value of the dollar.
Falls in the value of the US currency at the start of the week had helped gold reach a price of £890.86 per troy ounce on Monday – its highest value in 15 months – but some better economic reports from the US saw the dollar pick up value. As a result, gold fell back and then steadied. The precious metal was valued at £882.79 per troy ounce at 07:45 this morning (5 May).
One Australian precious metals trader told Reuters: "I think the [gold] market got a little carried away on the long side. At the moment, we are just seeing some profit-taking.”
But he said the trend for higher gold prices is “still in place”. The value of gold has soared by 21 per cent since the start of the year as investors recognised its strength as a safe haven for their money.
The rally in gold has been largely due to expectations that the US Federal Reserve is now less likely to increase the cost of borrowing because of economic uncertainties. Analysts’ predictions of a US interest rate rise were further weakened on Wednesday when figures showed weaker than expected growth in the US private employment market.
Strong sales of gold coins reported in April
The new 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial coin produced by the US Mint almost sold out within a week of its launch, with 122,510 from the total mintage of 125,000 snapped up by collectors and investors.
The 24 carat gold coin weighs one-tenth of a troy ounce and buyers are limited to 10 per household.
The sparkling performance comes as the US Mint reported good gold coin sales figures for April. The latest edition of the one troy ounce American Buffalo Coin sold 19,500 units, 500 more than in February and well ahead of the 7,000 that were shifted during March.
And there were 93,500 sales of American Gold Eagles. The coin comes in one troy ounce, half, quarter and one-tenth of an ounce weights, with the one ounce coin the most popular among investors. A total of 279,000 of the one troy coin variation were sold between the start of the year and the end of April.
India gold recycling schemes bring in 80 tonnes
India’s efforts to persuade more people to recycle gold and thus reduce the country’s reliance on imports are paying off.
Some 80.2 tonnes of the precious metal were delivered for recycling from homes and temples last year, according to the World Gold Council.
However India – the world’s second biggest gold importer after China – still bought in a massive 849 tonnes last year, compared to the 828 tonnes imported in 2014. The country experienced especially high demand towards the end of the year, when 233 tonnes were imported during the final quarter of 2015.
Some of the gold being deposited with banks in the government’s approved monetisation scheme is being melted down to create gold coins for collectors and investors.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Demand for the US Mint’s latest 24 carat gold coin has been so high among collectors and investors, it almost sold out within a week of its launch.
The 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial coin sold 122,510 from the total mintage of 125,000. The clamour for the coin saw it being listed as ‘unavailable’ within an hour of going on sale. There is a '10 coins per household' limit on buying the one-tenth of a troy ounce gold coin.
The demand for the new edition reflects the currently popularity of gold coin investment as the price of the precious metal continues to perform strongly.
Figures from the US Mint also showed that sales of the 2016 one troy ounce American Buffalo Coin during April were the second highest so far this year. Collectors snapped up 19,500 of the coins last month, up on the 19,000 bought in February and 7,000 sold in March. January has so far set the 2016 monthly sales record, when 34,000 Gold Buffalos were sold.
Investors are also snapping up the ever-popular American Gold Eagle. Sales of the 2016 edition of the one troy ounce gold bullion coins reached 93,500 during April. Gold Eagles can be bought in one troy ounce, half, quarter and one-tenth of an ounce weights. The one troy ounce edition is the most popular, and so far this year, it has sold 279,000 units.
The surge in the silver price in recent weeks has been reflected in sales of silver coins too. The one troy ounce 2016 American Silver Eagle shifted 4.07 million units last month. The coin is always a best-seller for the US Mint and so far in 2016, more than 18 million have been bought by investors and collectors.
The Mint also produces a series of collectible silver coins including America the Beautiful proof quarters.