Gold steady in Bangkok after wild day

Gold steady in Bangkok after wild day

ฺGold shops in Bangkok's Yaowarat area were busy on Friday as investors rushed to safe assets following a decision to leave the European Union by Britons on Thursday. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
ฺGold shops in Bangkok's Yaowarat area were busy on Friday as investors rushed to safe assets following a decision to leave the European Union by Britons on Thursday. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

Gold prices were unchanged at 21,950 baht per baht-weight in Bangkok on Saturday.

The Gold Traders Association announced the buying price at 21,850 baht and the selling price at 21,950 baht per baht-weight for bullion.

For ornaments, the buying and selling prices were 21,451.40 baht and 22,450 baht per baht-weight respectively.

The local prices changed 31 times on Friday for a total gain of 550 baht per baht-weight from the previous day, indicating extreme volatilities. Investors worldwide were scrambling to the safe-haven asset after Britons voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum.

Bloomberg reported from London on Saturday the fallout from Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the unexpected resignation of the prime minister and uncertainty over the country’s economic future prompted investors to look for safety and found it in gold -- a precious metal long prized as a universal store of value immune to the whims of political leaders.

The Royal Mint, which makes circulation and collector coins, and specialist online brokers reported surges in new customers.

The Mint saw a “significant spike” in buying, with account openings up 200% since Thursday.

“We’re going to be inundated,” said Cooper of ATS, which traces its history to the 1600s. “We’re buying pretty much everything we can from the refiners. They’re not going to get enough in to fill all the orders.”

In London’s spot gold market, the biggest in the world, prices jumped as much as 8.1%, the most since the height of the global financial crisis in 2008. The metal later pared gains, trading near a two-year high of $1,316 an ounce.

Best sellers said a record number of UK visitors flooded the website around 5.30am on Friday. Gold Britannia coins, which bear the image of the armed Roman goddess, and Sovereigns were the best sellers, according to Daniel Marburger, a director at the Frankfurt-based retailer.

BullionVault, an online trading and vaulting service, saw its busiest day ever. Customers exchanged 25.8 million pounds ($32.2 million) in metal by 2pm on Friday, more than two weeks worth of average trading in 2015, according to a statement from Adrian Ash, head of research at the London-based firm.

Some people took advantage of the jump in prices. Baird & Co, a precious-metals dealer in London, transferred staff from other parts of the company to answer phones and meet demand.

“People in Britain who bought in January are now seeing prices 200 pounds above where they bought,” said Tony Dobra, an executive director at the firm. “They’re cashing in.”

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