New York market sees little physical gold activity but still drives prices

Julian Phillips’ update on what has been/is happening in the major precious metals markets and with the big SPDR gold ETF

New York closed yesterday at $1,153.30 down$0.70 as the gold price began to stabilize as did the euro for now. Asia lifted the gold price to $1,159 and London held it there before it was Fixed at $1,156.50 down $4.75 and in the euro, at €1,091.244 down €3.655, while the euro was at $1.0598, almost unchanged.  Ahead of New York’s opening, gold was trading in London at $1,156.45 and in the euro at €1,092.07.

The silver price closed at $15.57 up 7 cents. Ahead of New York’s opening it was aslo trading at $15.57.  Silver is currently seeing a more positive tone than gold.

There were sales of 2.09 tonnes of gold from the SPDR gold ETF but none from the Gold Trust on Thursday. The holdings of the SPDR gold ETF are at 750.947 tonnes and at 164.02 tonnes in the Gold Trust.  The euro now stands at $1.0586 and, as we wrote this, was starting to slide again.

Asian demand was seen again before London’s opening which indicates a ‘bottoming’ is now taking place. With today being the most active day of every week and the superstitious noting it is 13th with the ‘ides of March’ on Sunday, today could be interesting! Of course this should have no impact on Asian markets which have their own superstitions, making life complicated.

During the past few weeks we have noticed Asia showing either strength or holding steady, then London at best, holds the gold price steady or starts its fall. New York starts to push prices down rapidly and may then recover towards the end of the day.

And yet, New York see very little physical gold action currently. This is primarily due to inefficiencies in the structure of the markets. If the prices in the different centers truly reflected net demand and supply figures, rather like water finding a common level between joined dams, they would smooth out differences.

In the gold market there remains a need for arbitrageurs in the different markets to have pools of accessible liquidity to make this happen. This may start to when the London Gold Fixing process changes next Friday.

A harsh reality is now coming into the Greek debt crisis. The Prime Minister has stated that the only solution for Greece’s debt is to re-structure it. History shows that the only time this has happened is when a country has already defaulted. Only then will creditors try to salvage what they can through extraordinary debt measures. Today’s meeting on the subject may be one of the last straws before Greece’s default. Then what?

Julian D.W. Phillips for the Gold & Silver Forecasters - and