Posts Tagged ‘Bank of England’
Perfect Storm Sees Gold & Silver Surge – Chavez Gold Action Leads to Backwardation, Short Squeeze and ‘Havoc’ Concerns
19 August 2011
All major currencies have fallen sharply against gold and silver again today with gold reaching new record nominal highs in Canadian and New Zealand dollars, in sterling, in euros and of course in dollars as turmoil continues in global markets.
In volatile trade, gold is down 1% from new record highs and is trading at USD 1,860.10, EUR 1,300.40, GBP 1,126.40, CHF 1,470.90, and JPY 142,414 per ounce and has risen some 2% in all currencies. Silver has surged by nearly 3% in all major currencies.
The London AM fix was a third consecutive record nominal high in US dollars. Gold’s London AM fix this morning was USD 1,862, EUR 1,299.28, GBP 1,126.91 per ounce (from yesterday’s USD 1,794.50, EUR 1,246.44, GBP 1,087.12 per ounce).
Markets continue to assess the ramifications of Venezuela deciding to repatriate their large gold reserves from London to Caracas. Their reserves are large in gold tonnage terms but small in dollar terms.
Venezuela’s central bank is the world’s 15th largest holder of gold, with 365.8 tonnes, of which some 211 tonnes, worth $12.3bn are held in London with the Bank of England and JP Morgan, Barclays, and Bank Of Nova Scotia.
Many analysts and the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) have long contended that much of the central bank gold reserves have been leased out by bullion banks and that in the event of central banks choosing to repatriate their bullion, significant supply issues could develop which would lead to a short squeeze and a parabolic increases in prices.
The concern is that other central banks concerned about dollar and currency debasement and expropriation of their gold reserves by embattled large debtor sovereign nations may follow suit.
A short squeeze is quite likely given the scale of global investor and central bank demand.
Already, there is a small degree of backwardation developing in the gold market with certain near term futures contracts now trading at higher prices than longer term contracts. The near term August ’11 contract was trading at $1,871.40/oz while June ’12 contract is trading at $1,870/oz (12:16 GMT). The spread between spot and longer term contracts has fallen suggesting that gold may soon join silver in backwardation.
Silver has been in backwardation for seven months now and backwardation appears to be deepening again. This morning the September ‘11 contract is trading at $41.41 while December ‘12 is trading at $40.65.
The possibility of backwardation in gold suggests that major investors are concerned about the supply of physical gold. Buyers are concerned about securing supply in the future and are willing to pay a premium for spot or immediate delivery.
It could indicate that the short squeeze anticipated by many is taking place and we could see a sharp upward move in gold prices.
This would not be surprising considering the very small size of the physical bullion markets versus the size of the overall financial and currency markets and considering the high demand coming from investors and central banks globally.
It is worth remembering what happened when silver went into backwardation some months ago. It led to a price surge from $30/oz to over $50/oz in 10 weeks.
Backwardation rarely happens in the gold and silver bullion markets. Since gold futures first started to be traded in 1972 (on the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange), there have only been momentary backwardations of a few hours.
It suggests that larger gold bars are difficult to acquire in volume and that the physical market is becoming stressed and less liquid.
Backwardation can end in default, failure to make delivery and in sharply higher prices. A default on the COMEX would have important ramifications for the dollar and could see sharp selling of the dollar and sharp falls on global markets.
Gold backwardation has been warned of by newsletter writer Denis Gartman overnight. He said that if Chavez “does push” for repatriation of $11 billion of gold reserves held in developed nations’ institutions it could lead to backwardation which would wreak ‘havoc’.
Investors should buy “nearer gold” and sell deferred bullion futures, he wrote. October and December futures will trade to premium over February and beyond in this case, Gartman wrote.
Meanwhile, in another sign of gold experiencing a near perfect storm, UBS have said that macro hedge funds were noted buyers and may also have dominated demand during yesterday’s Comex sweeps. They said that the funds may have been waiting for a correction to buy but due to concerns of the market moving away from them decided to buy yesterday.
“If participation from the macro hedge fund community has only just started to accelerate, this adds a new dynamic to the gold market.”
In normal financial and economic times, gold would be considered overvalued but we are far from that today and gold is experiencing a near perfect storm which could propel prices higher.
JP Morgan’s call for $2,500 gold by year end does not sound that outlandish given the fraught financial, economic and monetary conditions today.
A correction remains a real possibility but buying and holding bullion remains the best strategy in today’s volatile markets.
Cost averaging (dollar, euro, pound) is worth considering after the recent price move.
Read the entire article HERE.
by Tyler Durden
08/17/2011 16:27 -0400
In addition to the nationalization of his gold industry, Chavez earlier also announced that he would recover virtually all gold that Venezuela holds abroad, starting with 99 tons of gold at the Bank of England. As the WSJ reported earlier, “The Bank of England recently received a request from the Venezuelan government about transferring the 99 tons of gold Venezuela holds in the bank back to Venezuela, said a person familiar with the matter. A spokesman from the Bank of England declined to comment whether Venezuela had any gold on deposit at the bank.” That’s great, but not really a gamechanger. After all the BOE should have said gold. What could well be a gamechanger is that according to an update from Bloomberg, Venezuela has gold with, you guessed it, JP Morgan, Barclays, and Bank Of Nova Scotia. As most know, JPM is one of the 5 vault banks. The fun begins if Chavez demands physical delivery of more than 10.6 tons of physical because as today’s CME update of metal depository statistics, JPM only has 338,303 ounces of registered gold in storage. Or roughly 10.6 tons. A modest deposit of this size would cause some serious white hair at JPM as the bank scrambles to find the replacement gold, which has already been pledged about 100 times across the various paper markets. Keep an eye on gold in the illiquid after hour market. The overdue scramble for delivery may be about to begin.
Read the entire article HERE.
Published 22 June 2011
Gold is trading at $1,544.31/oz, €1,072.96/oz and £957.30/oz.
Gold is lower in dollars but higher in euros and has reached new record highs in pounds sterling at £958.25/oz. Gold is being supported by strong and increasing demand internationally.
Sterling has fallen after the BoE minutes raised concerns of further quantitative easing and currency debasement. The Bank of England looks increasingly likely to maintain its ultra accommodative monetary policies. Interest rates may continue to remain at multi century lows and the BoE is again considering more printing of money to buy government debt.
UK Interest Rates – 1700 to Today
Despite Papandreou winning yesterday’s vote, the Greek parliament must now approve the austerity measures and this is leading to continuing nervousness in markets.
Cross Currency Rates
European equities have been sold this morning and Italian, Portuguese and particularly Irish debt are under pressure showing that the risk of contagion remains real. There remain many possible impediments to a solution to Greece’s and the Eurozone’s sovereign and banking debt crisis. That is, if indeed, a solution is possible given the scale of the crisis and the fact that it is systemic.
Gold in British Pounds – 30 Days (Tick)
Gold and silver’s increasing safe haven status is seen in news from the Financial Times (front page) and from Bloomberg today (see news).
The Financial Times reports that “Greek citizens are emptying savings accounts and buying gold as they brace themselves for the possibility of a sovereign default and a run on the banks.”
Sales of gold coins have soared as savers seek a safer and fungible source of value, says the FT.
“When the global financial crisis started, our sales of coins to investors overtook bullion for the first time,” said Harry Krinakis, at Sepheriades, a Greek precious metals trader. “Now the sales ratio has reached five to one.”
Tomas, a computer technician, has exchanged his euro savings for gold coins: “I keep them at home just like my grandmother did in the second world war.”
Athens Stock Exchange General Index – 10 Years (Weekly)
Gold is again being seen in Greece as an essential store of wealth, hedge against inflation and safe haven asset.
This is not surprising given the scale of the crisis and the sharp falls seen in Greek property and equity markets (see chart above).
The fact that gold cannot default or go bankrupt unlike every single corporation, bank and government in the world is making it the safe haven of choice again.
There is also the important fact that it cannot be debased by bankers and central bankers unlike currencies and bonds.
Greece is the canary in the coalmine and the likelihood is that what is happening in Greece today, people using their cash deposits in banks to buy gold bullion, will be seen in many other countries in the coming months.
Indeed, news from the Perth Mint of record sales of silver coins is indicative that this trend has already begun.
Bloomberg reports that “Silver-coin sales from Australia’s Perth Mint, which was founded in 1899 and processes all of the country’s bullion, have surged to a record as buyers seek to protect their wealth with the metal known as poor man’s gold.
The mint sold 10.7 million 1-ounce silver coins since July 1 last year, according to Sales and Marketing Director Ron Currie. That’s 66 percent higher than the previous full fiscal year and about 10-fold more than five years earlier. Sales of 1- ounce gold coins will be close to a record, he said.
Confirming robust demand internationally, UBS said that its gold sales to India have increased significantly and that sales of gold coins and bars in Europe have also accelerated in recent days.
GoldCore has seen a marked increase in sales last week and this. Silver in particular had seen a sharp drop in sales since late April but buying renewed again last week. Renewed buying comes after a long period of hesitancy on behalf of many clients since the sell off at the end of April led to heightened concerns that the “bubble” had burst.
Yet another indication, if one were needed, that gold is anything but a bubble comes in the news that the People’s Bank of China is planning to double its issuance of gold bullion Chinese gold coins.
Both the FT and Bloomberg report that the People’s Bank of China plans to issue about 1 million ounces of its 2011 panda gold bullion coins compared with plans at the end of last year for 500,000 ounces of the coins.
Gold is far from being a bubble. Bubbles witness investors and speculators greedily piling in in expectation of making quick profits. It is quite the opposite today as risk and concern is leading to diversification into gold and buying of gold bullion as a long term store of wealth internationally.
Today, those buying gold and silver are increasingly protected due to the floor being put under precious metal prices due to Indian, Chinese and Asian public and central bank buying of gold.
Silver is trading at $36.09oz,€25.07/oz and £22.37/oz.
PLATINUM GROUP METALS
Platinum is trading at $1,740.00/oz, palladium at $763/oz and rhodium at $1,925/oz.
Read the entire article HERE.
Secret Iran Gold Holdings Leaked: Tehran Holds Same Amount Of Gold As United Kingdom, And Is Buying More
by Tyler Durden
03/20/2011 20:41 -0400
While it will not come as a major surprise to most, according to senior BOE individuals and Wikileaks, Iran, as well as Qatar and Jordan have been actively purchasing gold well over the amount reported to and by the IMF, in an accelerated attempt to diversify their holdings away from the US dollar. “Iran has bought large amounts of gold in the international market, according to a senior Bank of England official, in a sign of how growing political pressure has driven Tehran to reduce its exposure to the US dollar. Andrew Bailey, head of banking at the Bank of England, told an American official that the central bank had observed “significant moves by Iran to purchase gold”, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by the Financial Times.” The reason for Tehran’s scramble into gold: “an attempt by Iran to protect its reserves from risk of seizure”. The misrepresentation of Iran’s holdings could be so vast that Iran could possibly be one of the largest holders of goldin the world. “Market observers believe Tehran has been one of the biggest buyers of bullion over the past decade after China, Russia and India, and is among the 20 largest holders of gold reserves… with an alleged 300 tons, big enough to challenge the UK at 310 tons, and more than Spain! ” As a reminder according to the WGC, Iran is not even disclosed as an official holder of gold. Also, Iran is not the only one: “Cables obtained by WikiLeaks cite Jordan’s prime minister as saying the central bank was “instructed to increase its holdings” of gold, and a Qatar Investment Authority official as saying the QIA was interested in buying gold and silver.” Which means that there is far more marginal demand by countries supposedly friendly to the dollar, as many more than previously expected are actively dumping linen and buying bullion. What all this means for the future price of gold, especially with geopolitical tension in the region, and QE3 imminent, is rather self-evident.
From the FT:
Andrew Bailey, head of banking at the Bank of England, told an American official that the central bank had observed “significant moves by Iran to purchase gold”, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by the Financial Times.
Mr Bailey said the gold buying “was an attempt by Iran to protect its reserves from risk of seizure”.
Market observers believe Tehran has been one of the biggest buyers of bullion over the past decade after China, Russia and India, and is among the 20 largest holders of gold reserves.
They estimate it holds more than 300 tonnes of gold, up from 168.4 tonnes in 1996, the date of the most recent International Monetary Fund data.
Ummm, according to the WGC the UK (thank you Gordon Brown) has 310 tons of gold… Iran has the same amount of gold in storage as the (formerly) biggest colonial power in the history of the world. And this is not breaking news?
The cable, dated June 2006, is the first official confirmation of Tehran’s buying. Last year central banks became net buyers of bullion after 22 years of large sales, helping drive gold prices to all-time nominal highs. Trades by central banks are often kept secret.
Bankers said other Middle Eastern countries had also been quietly adding to gold holdings to diversify away from the dollar amid political tensions and volatility in currency markets.
“The totality of central bank reserves is not what is reported to the IMF,” said Philip Klapwijk, executive chairman of GFMS, a precious metals consultancy. “There’s probably another 10 per cent on top of that.”
Cables obtained by WikiLeaks cite Jordan’s prime minister as saying the central bank was “instructed to increase its holdings” of gold, and a Qatar Investment Authority official as saying the QIA was interested in buying gold and silver.
“There is no question some Middle Eastern countries are very interested in buying gold,” said George Milling-Stanley, head of government affairs at the mining industry-backed World Gold Council.
Secret undisclosed purchases of physical gold… What next: secret undisclosed selling of paper gold by such unusual suspects as JPM? Impossible.
Read the entire article HERE.