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Volatile week for gold but precious metal marks glittering quarterly performance

Thursday, March 31, 2016

It’s been a volatile week for the gold price this week after the long Easter weekend and remarks from the US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

The precious metal hit a weekly high of £864.75 at 21.45 Tuesday (29 March) after Ms Yellen warned about “ongoing risks” in the global economy and said that the Fed should “proceed cautiously” when considering further rises in the cost of borrowing.

She said: “Although the baseline outlook has changed little on balance since December, global developments pose ongoing risks. These risks appear to have contributed to the financial market volatility witnessed both last summer and in recent months.”

Analysts interpreted the comments as meaning another hike in interest rates is not likely in the coming months as had previously been forecast, especially if there is further disappointing international economic news on the horizon.

Ms Yellen’s speech in New York led to a mini rally in the gold price but it fell back to £851.58 at 15.30 on Wednesday, and this morning, gold was £857.53 per troy ounce at 08:00.

Strong quarterly performance

Despite the unsettled performance of the gold price this week, the precious metal is on course to record its best quarterly showing for almost three decades.

So far this year, gold has increased in value by almost 17 per cent on the back of weak economic news and political unrest which sent investors scurrying to the safe haven gold traditionally offers. That means the first quarter of 2016 is now set to be the strongest for gold since the third quarter of 1986, Reuters reported.

Mitsubishi precious metals analyst Jonathan Butler said gold was “susceptible to profit-taking” in the short term, but the medium-term outlook for the precious metal was good, thanks to the Fed’s stance which would also keep the strength of the US dollar in check.

Overall, gold has been the best performing commodity on the markets so far this year.

First Indian gold coins go international

The first gold coin produced by the Indian government as part of its ongoing gold recycling and monetisation efforts is now available for overseas collectors and investors to buy.

The coins have been manufactured from bullion collected from homes and temples in the government programme to reduce the country’s reliance on imports of the precious metal. It’s estimated that around 20,000 tonnes of gold is in private hands in India, but the country is still importing around 1,000 tonnes each year making it the world’s second biggest gold importer after China.

The new 999 fine 24 carat gold Indian Gold Coins, which are being produced in five and 10 gram varieties, as well as the new 20 gram Indian bullion bars, are being made with gold deposited with banks.

The coins are part of the Make in India initiative and feature the Ashoka Chakra on one side and Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on the other. They are the only gold coins to bear the Bureau of Indian Standards hallmark and have built in anti-counterfeiting measures.