Gold and Silver Cross Currency Rates – (Bloomberg)
Gold is marginally higher in London as investors continue to digest the recent weaker U.S. data and continuing ultra loose monetary policies. Gold futures dropped 0.8% yesterday as minutes from the last meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve suggested that the Fed will not scale back plans to reduce their monthly multi billion dollar bond purchases.
More data overnight confirms that gold is flowing from west to east and from the western banking system into strong store of wealth hands in Asia. This includes Asian investors and store of wealth buyers and indeed Asian central banks including the People’s Bank of China.
Asia accounted for more than 80% of Swiss gold and silver bullion coin and bar exports in January, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration said today in an e-mailed report covered by Bloomberg.
Interestingly, as suspected most of the bullion exported to Asia from Switzerland came from London.
As holdings in gold-backed funds that are mostly listed in the U.S. and Europe declined, lower prices led to demand from Asia in a further sign of bullion flowing from the west to east. While the majority of the demand is from Asia itself, there is a percentage of the flow that is of western investors seeking to own gold outside the banking system, in what they perceive to be safer jurisdictions in allocated gold accounts in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Hong Kong was the top destination of Swiss bullion exports at 44% on a value basis, with India at 14%, the Bern-based customs agency said in its first breakdown of the gold trade data since 1980.
Singapore accounted for 8.6% of exports, the United Arab Emirates 7.9% and China 6.3%, according to Bloomberg.
Switzerland imported 4.32 billion Swiss francs ($4.87 billion) of gold and silver bullion from the U.K., or 60% of total inbound shipments, according to the report. The U.S. was second at 4.9%, Italy at 3.8%, Germany at 2.8% and Thailand at 2.5%, the data showed.