Gold Fixing

The Gold Fixing (also known as the London Gold Fixing or Gold Fix) is the procedure by which the price of gold is set on the London market by the five members of the London Gold Pool. It is designed to fix a price for settling contracts between members of the London bullion market, but informally the Gold Fixing provides a recognized rate that is used as a benchmark for pricing the majority of gold products and derivatives throughout the world's markets. The Gold Fixing is conducted twice a day by telephone, at 10:30 GMT and 15:00 GMT.

The first fixing took place on 12 September 1919 amongst the five principal gold bullion traders and refiners of the day: N M Rothschild & Sons, Mocatta & Goldsmid, Pixley & Abell, Samuel Montagu & Co. and Sharps Wilkins. The gold price then was four pounds 18 shillings and ninepence (GBP 4.9375) per troy ounce.

Due to wartime emergencies and government controls, the London Gold Fixing was suspended between 1939 and 1954.

Gold prices are fixed in United States dollars (USD), Pound sterling (GBP) and European euros (EUR).

On 21 January 1980 the Gold Fixing reached the price of $850, a figure not overtaken until 3 January 2008 when a new record of $865.35 per troy ounce was set in the a.m. Fixing. [ [http://www.lbma.org.uk/2008dailygold.htm LBMA statistics] ] However, when indexed for inflation, the 1980 high would equate to a price of $2398.21 in 2007 dollars, thus the 1980 record still holds in real terms.

The Fixing historically took place twice daily at the City offices of N M Rothschild & Sons in St Swithin's Lane, but since 5 May 2004 it takes place by telephone. In April 2004 N M Rothschild & Sons announced that it planned to withdraw from gold trading and from the London Gold Fixing. Barclays Bank took its place from 7 June 2004, and the chairmanship of the meeting, formerly held permanently by Rothschilds, now rotates annually.

A tradition of the London Gold Fixing was that participants could raise a small Union Flag on their desk to pause proceedings. Under the telephone fixing system, participants can register a pause by saying the word "flag", and the chair ends the meeting with the phrase "There are no flags, and we're fixed".

The current five participants in the Fixing, who must be members of the London Bullion Market Association, are:
* Scotia-Mocatta — successor to Mocatta & Goldsmid and part of Bank of Nova Scotia
* Barclays Capital — Replaced N M Rothschild & Sons when they abdicated
* Deutsche Bank — Owner of Sharps Pixley, itself the merger of Sharps Wilkins with Pixley & Abell
* HSBC — Owner of Samuel Montagu & Co.
* Société Générale — Replaced Johnson Matthey and CSFB as fifth seat

ee also

*Gold standard
*Gold as an investment

References

External links

* [http://www.kitco.com/charts/livegold.html Live Gold Fixing Price]
* [http://www.lbma.org.uk/statistics_current.htm Current Gold Fixing Price - a.m./p.m.]
* [http://www.goldfixing.com/home.htm London Gold Fixing]
* [http://www.lbma.org.uk/london_faq_fixings.htm Description of the fixing process] from the [http://www.lbma.org.uk/ London Bullion Market Association]
* [http://www.taxfreegold.co.uk/londongoldfix.html Further description of the fixing process]


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