Precious Metals Prices Downtrend Threatens Support

"US financial firms and money market funds have had time to adjust their exposures and hedge their risks to some degree as the European situation has evolved, but the risks of contagion remain a concern for both these institutions and their supervisors and regulators," Bernanke will say, in prepared remarks published ahead of the testimony.

On Tuesday, Bernanke gave the first in a series of four college lectures on the Fed's role in the economy, in which he described a gold standard as a "waste of resources" and a "far from perfect monetary system".

"Since the gold standard determines the money supply, there is not much scope for the central bank to use monetary policy to stabilize the economy...Under a gold standard, typically the money supply goes up and interest rates go down in a period of strong economic activity – so that's the reverse of what a central bank would normally do today."

Congressman Ron Paul last year asked Bernanke if he though gold was money, to which the Fed chairman replied 'No'. Last month, Paul held up a silver coin while questioning Bernanke, saying that it "is what the market has always said should be money".

Russia's central bank gold holdings 3.1 tonnes of gold last month, equivalent to 0.35% of its official reserves, data published Tuesday show.

Over in the US meantime, holdings in the world's largest gold ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), fell 3 tonnes to 1290.2 tonnes yesterday, having held steady for one week. silver bullion holdings in the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), the world's biggest silver ETF, remained steady at 9752.7 tonnes.

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Ben Traynor is editor of Gold News, the analysis and investment research site of gold ownership service BullionVault. He was formerly editor of the Fleet Street Letter, the UK's longest-running investment letter. A Cambridge economics graduate, he is a professional writer and editor with a specialist interest in monetary economics.

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About the Author
Ben Traynor

Editor of Gold News, the analysis and investment research site from world-leading gold ownership service BullionVaultBen Traynor was formerly editor of the Fleet Street Letter, the UK's longest-running investment letter. A Cambridge economics graduate, he is a professional writer and editor with a specialist interest in monetary economics.

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