GC=F - Gold Aug 19

COMEX - COMEX Delayed Price. Currency in USD
-4.70 (-0.33%)
As of 11:59PM EDT. Market open.
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Pre. Settlement N/A
Settlement Date 2019-08-28
Open 1,412.70
Bid 1,410.70
Last Price 1,418.70
Day's Range 1,408.40 - 1,415.30
Volume 50,810
Ask 1,410.80
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    (Bloomberg) -- A rally in domestic gold prices to near record levels may coax investors missing from India’s bazaars to once again buy coins and bars after little movement in the last five years.Benchmark gold futures in Mumbai have surged 11% this year to as high as 34,893 rupees ($504) per 10 grams on Tuesday, just shy of a record of 35,074 rupees touched in 2013.“The whole world is getting bullish on gold now because of the economic and geopolitical tensions,” said Ketan Shroff, a director at Mumbai-based Penta Gold Pvt. and a former joint secretary of the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd., by phone. “People will buy gold as an investment and we may see some good demand in small coins and bars and not in jewelry.”Spot gold surged to the highest level in six years -- topping $1,430 an ounce -- as fresh U.S. sanctions on Iran added to uncertainty in global markets and the U.S. Federal Reserve opened the door to an interest rate cut. More gains are in store with Morgan Stanley choosing gold as its top commodity pick on a six-month view. India’s investment demand was 341 tons in 2013 and fell to 162.4 tons last year, according to the World Gold Council. Rising prices will help investment demand and purchases of coins and bars may be higher-than-expected this year, according to Metals Focus Ltd.“These are positive signs for long-term gold demand,” said Chirag Sheth, a senior consultant at the London-based firm. The spike in prices comes at a time when India is entering a seasonally slow demand season after June, so jewelry sales may not be impacted much, he said.India’s gold consumption may rise 10%-15% in 2019 from the 760 tons bought last year, according to Saurabh Gadgil, chairman of the Pune-based PN Gadgil Jewellers Pvt. Despite the current rally in prices, people haven’t been lining up yet to sell their gold and that’s positive for the market, he said.Gold demand in India has been picking up as weaker prices boosted purchases for weddings and festivals and as cash handouts and higher spending during the federal elections in April and May gave a fillip to disposable incomes. The second half of the year is usually the peak demand season in India because of festivals.“At the consumer level, there is bullishness about gold prices,” Gadgil said by phone. Gold has been subdued for the last few years and people who have been holding back purchases -- including young people who have wanted to invest for the last two-to-three years -- may look to buy, he said.Demand RevivalConsumption in the January-to-March period rose 5% on year to 159 tons and demand in the second quarter is expected to be higher due to weddings and the key auspicious gold buying day of Akshaya Tritiya, according to the WGC. Import numbers for the first five months of 2019 also suggest better sales in the local markets. Inbound shipments are estimated to have risen 44% during January-May to 416.3 tons, according to data collated by Bloomberg.To contact the reporter on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at safonso2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Phoebe Sedgman at psedgman2@bloomberg.net, Keith Gosman, Alpana SarmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- For years, Russia has been the world’s biggest sovereign gold bug: Even while gold prices were in the doldrums, it doggedly kept increasing its reserves. Now that gold is at the highest level since 2013, the tactic appears to be paying off. The U.S. dollar’s dominance as a global reserve currency is commonly thought to result from the dearth of safe assets. Russia, however, recently has provided an example of how a sizable economy with the world’s fifth biggest international reserves can minimize dollar assets and still do well. So far, it doesn’t have many followers, but gold buying by central banks is going up.Since being hit by sanctions for its aggression against Ukraine in 2014, Russia has had good reasons to rethink the composition of its international reserve. While the European Union hasn’t toughened its sanctions for almost five years, the U.S. has been doing it all the time. The Kremlin and the Bank of Russia consider the risk of further restrictions unpredictable and dependent more on U.S. domestic politics than on anything Russia does. In the 12 months since the end of September 2017, the central bank has more than halved the dollar’s share in its international assets and sharply increased the shares of the euro and the renminbi.These data, the latest available from the central bank, show the share of gold slightly dropping, even though Russia added 274 metric tons of the metal to its reserves in 2018, bringing its total reserves to 2,113 tons. That’s because other assets also increased as Russia sought to insulate itself from Western pressure – and because in those 12 months, the price of gold dropped by almost 7%. Generally, though, the metal’s market performance has, for the most part, justified Russia’s stubborn trust in it.And so far this month, as the price of gold has soared by about 7%, it has added about $7 billion to Russia’s international reserves (assuming no new purchases since the end of the first quarter of 2019). If the price increase holds, gold will account for some 20 % of Russia’s half a trillion dollars in international reserves, approaching the dollar’s share. The dollar, of course, remains the world’s biggest reserve currency, and gold and other currencies aren’t exactly displacing it worldwide. But then, the World Gold Council has noted an upward trend in net gold purchases by central banks that goes way beyond the Russian effort – even through Russia remains the biggest buyer. In the first quarter of 2019, central banks bought a record amount of gold, 715.7 metric tons.China has its own problems with the U.S. and with the dollar. While it can’t cut its enormous dollar assets as decisively as Russia has reduced its smaller ones, it has gone for a gradual reduction. And it has shown an increased interest in gold.Other significant gold buyers include Turkey and India -- the latter, like China and Russia, a member of the global top 10 by international reserves.Low U.S. interest rates, the Trump administration’s unpredictable combativeness and insatiable appetite for debt, and geopolitical instability are making gold look like a safer asset than U.S. debt instruments. A few more years of this, and it’s possible that more countries’ international reserves will be structured like Russia’s.President Vladimir Putin’s regime moved first among big reserve holders to phase out the dollar because it had the biggest reasons to fear the U.S. The current and future U.S. administrations should tread carefully to avoid giving others similar incentives to kick their dollar habit and follow the Kremlin’s example. While Russia’s economic management in general leaves much to be desired, the country’s approach to building international reserves is looking more and more prescient.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at tharshaw@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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