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January Gold News 2017

Global banks must plan for a “hard” Brexit or risk breaching regulatory requirements and disrupting business, according to an industry report seen by Reuters, the first since Prime Minister May said she would take Britain out of the single market.

Banks' transformation programmes are so complex and lengthy that in some cases they may need to devise two-step interim contingency plans in order to mitigate the risks of disruption, the report says. It was prepared by consultancy PwC for industry body the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME).

The process will require more clarity from regulators in EU countries ...

31 Jan 2017, 5:17 p.m.
Daryl Jackson

Deutsche Bank has been fined a total of £560m by British and American authorities over alleged money laundering in Russia.

New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) said the scheme involved so-called mirror trades which illegally moved $10bn (£9.3bn) out of Russia.

DFS superintendent Maria Vullo said: "This Russian mirror-trading scheme occurred while the bank was on clear notice of serious and widespread compliance issues dating back a decade.

"It is obvious, though, that the scheme could have facilitated capital flight, tax evasion or other potentially illegal objectives."

The scheme involved wealthy clients buying stock in Moscow ...

31 Jan 2017, 1:07 p.m.
Daryl Jackson
An Argentine treasure hunter aims to raise a British warship which sank off the coast of Uruguay more than 250 years ago, in hopes of uncovering its cargo – thought to be a mountain of gold worth £1 billion ($1.25 billion).

The Lord Clive was sunk in 1762 following a naval battle with the Spanish, as her maverick captain Robert McNamara tried to retake the city of Colonia del Sacramento.

About 272 sailors went down with the ship, while the 78 who made it to shore were quickly tried and executed by hanging.

31 Jan 2017, 10:53 a.m.
Daryl Jackson

England’s quantitative easing scheme rolled out last year, borrowing far more than anticipated from the central bank.

The Bank of England bought £4.9bn of corporate bonds in just three months, when the scheme intended to buy £10bn over 18 months.

At the same time the Term Funding Scheme (TFS) which gives cheap funds to banks has injected £20.7bn into lenders. The aim of both policies, alongside a plan to buy £60bn of government bonds, was to keep interest rates down.

Economists welcomed the swift progress as an important boost ...

30 Jan 2017, 4:36 p.m.
Daryl Jackson

The UK economy is not in recession. That much we know. But what about its component parts?

Did you know, for instance, that for all the enthusiasm about Britain's motor industry, car manufacturing actually dropped into recession in the wake of the Brexit vote?

Did you know that the domestic workers sector (meaning cleaners, nannies and anyone else who works as an employee in a home) is booming?

Or that the postal and courier sector is growing faster than almost any other part of the UK economy?

Did you realise that Britain's economic growth is actually by some measures now ...

30 Jan 2017, 11:17 a.m.
Daryl Jackson

The recent decline in the value of the pound has led Deutsche Bank to claim that its status as a reserve currency is under threat. The German bank cited the minimal impact of sterling’s fall in 2016 on other currencies, alongside its falling presence in China’s reserves, as evidence of sterling's increasing irrelevance as a foreign exchange reserve currency.

The German bank have predicted that Brexit could be the final straw for the pound’s reserve status. With foreign demand for sterling such an important inflow into the UK economy, any sudden decline in reserve holdings of sterling could leave a significant ...

27 Jan 2017, 11:17 a.m.
Samuel Gee

The UK cannot begin negotiating with the US or any other country until its obligations as a member of the European Union have ended, Chancellor Philip Hammond has told Sky News.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels, Mr Hammond said: "We will continue to abide by the rules, and the regulations and the laws, of the European Union for so long as we are members.

"Of course we want to strengthen our trade ties with the very many trade partners we have around the world, but we're very mindful of our obligations ...

27 Jan 2017, 9:57 a.m.
Daryl Jackson

More than half of free cash machines in the UK are under threat as some banks demand reductions in the fees they pay to use other providers’ ATMs.

A system known as LINK currently allows customers of all banks to use other providers' cash machines free-of-charge, but that is now in question. Banks say they pay too much for the use of independent cash machines from providers such as such as Note Machine and PayPoint.

Members of LINK, including banks and independent ATM providers met on Thursday in an attempt to resolve the dispute, but the issue remains ongoing. If ...

26 Jan 2017, 3:54 p.m.
Daryl Jackson

Theresa May will pledge to "renew the special relationship" for a new Brexit-Trump age as she arrives in the United States ahead of talks with the President.

The Prime Minister flies to Philadelphia, where she will address Republican Senators and Congress members, before meeting Donald Trump at the White House on Friday.

Mrs May, the first world leader to hold face-to-face talks with President Trump since his inauguration, has told MPs she is pleased to be able to meet him so early in his administration.

She wants to talk to the President about deepening the economic and ...

26 Jan 2017, 10:11 a.m.
Daryl Jackson

The UK grew by a better-than-expected 0.6% in the final quarter of last year and by 2% for the whole of 2016, official figures show.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said it showed the "fundamental strength and resilience" of the economy though he acknowledged uncertainty ahead as Brexit looms.

The annual growth figure of 2% is slightly below last year's and the second year in a row that the pace of expansion has weakened.

But the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) underlined the economy's robust response to Britain's vote to leave the European Union in June ...

26 Jan 2017, 10 a.m.
Daryl Jackson

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Wall Street's blue-chip stock market, has smashed through the 20,000 points barrier for the first time.

The milestone was achieved at the start of Wednesday trading - just after the opening bell sounded.

It had been on the cards for some time, given the rally in US stocks since the election of Donald Trump as US President - with investors cheering his stated plans for a major infrastructure investment programme and other business-friendly policies.

The rally in stock values faltered in the weeks before the tycoon's inauguration - coming within ...

25 Jan 2017, 4:14 p.m.
Daryl Jackson

Santander has warned on "significant" economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote after the slump in the pound helped UK profits fall sharply.

The Spanish lender also said a tax hike had taken its toll as attributable profit fell 15% to €1.7bn (£1.4bn), while profits for the wider group rose 4% to €6.2bn (£5.3bn).

Santander has 14 million customers and more than 800 branches in the UK.

It said the UK profit fall was driven by the introduction of the 8% bank corporation tax surcharge as well as "the weakening of the pound against the euro ...

25 Jan 2017, 12:14 p.m.
Daryl Jackson

The gold price denominated in U.S. dollars reached a two-month high yesterday as investors reacted to increased economic and geopolitical uncertainty. The yellow metal has advanced by 6% since the turn of the year, but is down over $120 per ounce since Donald Trump won the race to the White House.

Bears are betting that Trump will inject a new lease of life into the American economy, leading to higher interest rates and a stronger U.S dollar. The bulls on the other hand believe that Trump will increase government spending, triggering a stampede into gold bullion.

24 Jan 2017, 10:26 a.m.
Adam Pike

No one is more pessimistic right now than multi-billionaire financier George Soros. Soros believes that Donald Trump is a would-be dictator, the EU is in the process of breaking up and Theresa May is on borrowed time as UK Prime Minister.

Soros is famous for breaking the BoE in 1992, when he successfully shorted sterling and made a staggering £1.5bn. The financier believes that Theresa May is fighting a losing battle with half her cabinet strongly opposing Brexit.

Soros is also hypercritical of President-Elect Donald Trump and believes that his policies will fail because his ...

20 Jan 2017, 10:59 a.m.
Duncan Richardson

Sterling’s rebound following Theresa May’s Brexit speech this morning saw the gold price drop (2% £20.04/oz t) in less than 3 hours.

The gold price had jumped above £1000 since the weekend after the pound slid on expectations that May would confirm Britain’s intentions to make a clean break from the European single market after triggering Article 50. She confirmed her intentions earlier today in her public statement.

However her announcement that the deal would be agreed upon by parliament provided a boost to the pound, which has jumped 2.83% against the dollar today.

17 Jan 2017, 2:54 p.m.
Samuel Gee

Gold has jumped 1.44% (£+14.10/ oz t) in sterling and 0.43% ($+5.10) in dollars this morning, marking the beginning of what is likely to be an interesting week for financial markets.

Gold priced in sterling jumped above £1000/ oz t, hitting its highest price since November after the pound fell 1.6% to below $1.20, the lowest since October’s ‘flash crash’. Reports that PM Teresa May is likely to announce a hard Brexit on Tuesday knocked the pound with investors showing little optimism for the post-Brexit British economy.

Regardless of the potential long-term success of prospective commercial deals with non-EU countries, ...

16 Jan 2017, 3:21 p.m.
Samuel Gee

Gold rose for a fourth consecutive day thanks to a weakened dollar after Donald Trump’s first formal press conference since winning the election in November.

A lack of time spent discussing Trump’s expected fiscal stimulus plans led to a market sell off as doubts about the long term durability of recent market gains. With Trump’s inauguration just a week away, we will soon witness the reality of Trump’s economic plans.

However with this current level of uncertainty investors are afraid of being caught out should the recent market gains prove to have weak foundations.

As a result ...

12 Jan 2017, 12:29 p.m.
Samuel Gee

During President Obama’s final year in office the USA's government debt expanded by a further $1 trillion to just below $20 trillion. To put that number into perspective, to spend $1 trillion, you would have to spend £10 million dollars every day for 273 years.

Under Obama’s reign the country's debt has doubled. This may sound horrifying, however, the same occurred under the Bush presidency and countless other administrations.

With Donald Trump pledging to the U.S. electorate he will spend big in a last-ditch attempt to simulate the economy, it is more than plausible that Federal debt ...

11 Jan 2017, 10:34 a.m.
Duncan Richardson
Gold’s impressive start to 2017 continued yesterday after surging to a one month high as the U.S. dollar weakened against a basket of the world’s leading currencies. The gold price rose despite the release of positive U.S. employment figures.

In New York, the gold price peaked at $1,185.90 per ounce before retreating prior to the close of the Comex. The gold price is now up over $60 per ounce since the first week in December, but still down over $150 per ounce since Donald Trump’s surprise election victory.

Yesterday’s move came after ...

6 Jan 2017, 12:37 p.m.
Adam Pike

After a three-year losing streak the gold price posted a 31.8% return in 2016. The gain would have been a lot higher if the price had not declined following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. election. As we begin 2017, the gold price will be looking to build upon its £933 per ounce starting point. Traders care little for the past and their focus will now shift to examining the potential drivers for the price in 2017.

It comes as no shock the main driver behind the price will be the actions of the Federal reserve. ...

5 Jan 2017, 10:24 a.m.
Duncan Richardson

Gold was a top performer in the first half of 2016 as safe haven bids drove the price from a depressed £732 per ounce at the turn of the year to £851 per ounce on the eve of Brexit. The decision to leave the EU surprised the markets and gold denominated in sterling exploded overnight to over £1,040 per ounce.

The gold price traded sideways for the remainder of the summer and then rallied to a 5-year high of £1,060 per ounce days before the U.S. election. Despite Donald Trump’s surprise victory on the 8th of November, ...

4 Jan 2017, 10:26 a.m.
Duncan Richardson

2017 is likely to be the most volatile year in terms of political risk since World War Two, according to political risk consultancy Eurasia Group.

Donald Trump’s impending inauguration as President of the United States has been listed as a leading cause for volatility given his unilateral approach to foreign policy. Trump has already cast doubt on his loyalty to NATO, as well as showed hostility towards China throughout his election campaign and an unstable future is expected as the realities of his presidency unfold.

Closer to home, UK ambassador to the EU, Ivan Rogers, has quit his post ahead ...

3 Jan 2017, 4:55 p.m.
Samuel Gee