Japanese Funds with $3.4T Assets Seek Gold Safety

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,699.50, EUR 1,289.26 and GBP 1,048.10 per ounce. Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,690.00, EUR 1,285.27 and GBP 1,043.21 per ounce.

Precious metals crept higher yesterday and closed with very slight gains for both gold and silver. 

Gold closed up 0.22% or $3.80 to $1698.00. Silver closed with a marginal gain of 0.12% - up 4 cents to $32.21/oz.

Prices crept gradually higher in Asian trading prior to some retrenchment in early European trading.

U.K. inflation held at the highest since May in November as higher food, electricity and gas costs kept consumer-price growth above the Bank of England’s target.

The fastest price rises were seen in the cost of fruit, bread and cereals, as well as in energy bills, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Inflation is now expected by many investors and economists to creep up further next year as further increases in electricity and gas prices take effect.

Many traders are on the sideline as trading slows down prior to Christmas. The focus remains on US lawmakers attempts to cobble together a deal to avert the 'fiscal cliff'. There is optimism that a deal can be done to avert fiscal disaster.

While this may be the case in the short term – another short term political panacea which fails to address the very poor deep rooted structural fiscal challenges may lead to an even greater fiscal disaster in the course of President Obama's second term.

The fundamentals which have led to another annual gain in 2012 (8% in dollar terms) remain in place.

Ultra loose monetary policies from the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and other central banks will provide support, as currency debasement and rising inflation leads to continuing demand for bullion.

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