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Friday Look Ahead: Tech a Focus for Stocks Friday, as Gold Dazzles Investors

Published: Thursday, 16 Sep 2010 | 9:10 PM E
By: Patti Domm
CNBC Executive Editor
Some good news from the tech sector could be a positive for stocks Friday.

Outside the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan.
Photo: Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com
Outside the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan.

Both Oracle and Research in Motion reported strong earnings after Thursday’s bell. Separately, Texas Instruments boosted its $0.12 dividend by a penny and said it would buy back another $7.5 billion shares. All three stocks were higher in after-hours trading.

Stocks Friday morning could feel the effect of the quadruple expiration of futures and options. Traders expect the expiration to be low key at the open, and if anything, the impact should be slightly positive.
CPI, at 8:30 a.m., is expected to show a 0.3 percent increase in August consumer prices. Consumer sentiment is expected to improve slightly to a reading of 70, from 68.9 last month, but economists say the strong performance of the stock market this month could push that number a bit higher. August’s sentiment reading was the second lowest of the year. Consumer sentiment is released at 9:55 a.m.
Stocks drifted on both sides of the unchanged mark Thursday. The Dow ended up 22 at 10,594, and the S&P 500 was off less than a half point at 1124.  The dollar weakened against the euro, and dollar/yen was barely changed after the Bank of Japan intervened to curb the yen’s rise Wednesday.
“This intervention might have higher chances of succeeding, assuming we continue to see relatively acceptable U.S. economic data. That’s the critical thing,” said Boris Schlossberg of GFT Forex. “…as long as the idea of double dip keeps receding, Treasury yields should stabilize and go back up and that will be critical to dollar/yen.”
On the other hand, if we see the 10-year yield move to 2.5 percent, or dip below 2.5 percent, I don’t think any amount of money will stem the (dollar) decline,” he said.
Barry Knapp, chief equities portfolio strategist at Barclay’s, said the initial stock market reaction after a big intervention is often a short-term decline. “For the first couple of days, the market goes down a little bit..the first reaction is to look at the dollar,” he said.
The view is “if the dollar is going up, that’s bad for earnings, so sell it. Dollar’s going down, that’s good. That’s a very simplistic approach. I don’t think it’s right at all,” he said. “If you look back at 2003, when the Japanese were intervening dramatically, the initial reaction was that the stock market sold off, and then it regained its footing.”
Knapp said the intervention at that time was about $360 billion, and he estimated this round could total $250 billion. The BOJ was reported to have bought more than $20 billion Wednesday.
“If somebody puts $250 billion into the markets, event though that money won’t be buying riskier assets, it can trigger an effect,” he said.
The impact on Treasurys could also be noticeable, he said. Traders have been speculating the Japanese will park their dollar holdings in shorter duration Treasurys. “Initially the Treasury curve steepens, but then that tends to drive investors who were in 2s and 5s to extend out the curve and it starts to flatten. Then it triggers a whole position rebalancing.”
All that Glitters
Gold continued to dazzle investors Thursday, scoring its second record settlement of the week. Investors are betting it could try to break the $1,300 level, maybe even as early as next week depending on the outcome of the Fed’s meeting Tuesday.  Gold Thursday rose about a half percent to settle at $1273.80.
Gold has faced some high-profile criticism this week, including from investor George Soros who called it a bubble. “If you think about a world where every major country is trying to find a way to devalue its currency, gold looks pretty good in that environment. Personally I think the dollar is going down more. There’s lots of reasons why gold will continue to rise. I don’t know if I’d buy it, but I know I wouldn’t short it,” Knapp said.

 http://www.cnbc.com/id/39223276

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>Oh, poor “Demonized Algos” !!!

Demonised ‘algos’ push the surge in FX trading

By Jennifer Hughes, Senior Markets Correspondent
Published: September 1 2010 00:04 | Last updated: September 1 2010 00:04

Since the infamous stock market “flash crash” of May 6, high-frequency, or algorithmic, trading has been unwillingly dragged into the political and regulatory limelight.
forex-trading-graphicSo far, however, attention has focused on the role of these high-speed traders in the equity market. Outside the glare of that publicity, it is less well known that on May 7, FX trading volumes reached records, straining the plumbing of these markets.
Some participants argue these strains were partially caused by algorithmic, or algo, traders.
Exactly how much of this can be attributed to algo trading is unclear. However, there is no question that high-frequency traders are a fast-increasing force in FX markets, which is sparking a fierce debate as to their value to the market.
On Tuesday, the Bank for International Settlements reported that average daily turnover in the FX market has jumped 20 per cent in the past three years to $4,000bn a day. Its survey was taken in April, so missed the May spike, which related to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
The BIS-reported gains were led by a near 50 per cent leap in spot trading – deals for immediate delivery – to $1,500bn a day. This jump was powered by increased activity from “other financial institutions”, a group that includes hedge funds, pension funds, some banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and central banks. This will also include algos.
While all categories of “other” could have increased their trading, it is likely a significant proportion was driven by algo traders, who favour the deep, liquid spot markets and particularly currency pairs such as eurodollar and dollar-yen, which between them account for 42 per cent of all currency trading.
The question for the FX market is whether high-frequency dealers improve the market by adding liquidity, or whether they are instead merely price takers who contribute little.
“Algos have been demonised, but they’re an important part of the growth story,” says David Rutter chief executive of Icap Electronic Broking, which runs EBS, the main FX interbank trading platform. “What we’ve found is that they add pressure at each price point so that instead of getting big price gaps on shocking news, trade is more orderly.
“With FX, there are a lot of other flows such as global trade, so there is good underlying liquidity that the algos can enhance.”
Algos initially appeared in FX markets almost a decade ago, attracted by the deep liquidity and increasing use of electronic trading. They were generally welcomed, particularly by banks looking to build their prime brokerage businesses. However many banks soon grew disenchanted when they found the fast-moving shops were profiting from banks’ own slow systems by exploiting brief, tiny price differences between rival platforms.
Some banks went as far as ejecting offenders from their platforms but banks’ views have since become more nuanced. They have generally reached an accommodation, helped by technological improvements which make it easier to monitor client dealings and offer client-specific prices.
“The facts are that algos have made the markets more efficient and have helped ensure there’s one virtual price,” says Jeff Feig, global head of G10 FX at Citigroup. “They do cause banks to be smarter and we’ve had to work harder to be more efficient, but that’s ultimately to the advantage of the end user.
“I think that to some extent, algos have pushed banks and the result has been enhanced transparency and increased liquidity.”
Algos mean many different things in the FX market. While high-frequency traders are the best known – typified by one senior banker as “five smart guys in a room in New Jersey,” – banks are increasingly adept at developing their own algorithms to make their internal FX deals more efficient. These “internalisation” trades too will have provided a boost to the BIS numbers.
Most players say algos are now a fact of life in currency markets.
Unlike the equity market, which is split into hundreds of stocks, they believe the FX world’s focus on a relatively small number of currency pairs means it would be far harder for a single group of participants to move the market significantly, intentionally or otherwise, as some watchers fear happened during the “flash crash”.
“Also trading can happen anywhere there’s an electronic execution system and a volatile market,” says Alan Bozian a former FX banker and now chief executive of CLS Bank, the FX settlement system. “The question is, which markets adapt well and I don’t think it’s necessarily the stock market.”
FX markets have proved generally good at adapting. Systems such as CLS, introduced years before the financial crisis, have helped minimise settlement risk and since May, participants have been working again to improve their processing systems to cope with increased volume.
Significantly, for a market that is very much built around a hub of big banks, the BIS report showed that, for the first time, interaction of the main banks with “other” financial institutions overtook trading between themselves.
This could be a pointer to the market of the future, where banks are likely to remain the hub, but as much for their trade processing abilities as for their liquidity.
This would allow the winners to build profitable volume without taking on huge trading risks – suiting the current regulatory mood.
“The banks want to continue being the price providers, but they’re getting much more interested in the infrastructure and improving that,” says Mr Bozian. This evolution is likely to apply to high-frequency trading too.
Mr Rutter believes algos are only in their “late teens” in terms of development. “The early algo trading was about super-fast dealing and chasing inefficiencies. That’s largely gone,” he says.
“Now its about math and science being thrown at the market – there’s a rich pool of data and I think we’ll see algos evolve so its not just about milliseconds, but about longer-term predictive math.”

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World Gold Council Report ( WGC)

WGC-  China’s gold investment demand grew by 121% in 2Q- Central Banks buy more gold-

CONCLUSION: the WGC just reported its 2Q report ( see attached). Three key things:

 

1- ONE OF THE KEY NEW TRENDS IS CHINA WHERE RETAIL INVESTMENT DEMAND JUMPED BY 121% ( SEE PAGE 11). We continue to believe that deregulation of the gold market in China could OPEN a major new market for gold.

 

2- ANOTHER INTERESTING TREND IS THAT INDUSTRIAL DEMAND FOR GOLD CONTINUED TO IMPROVE BY 14% MAINLY DRIVEN BY ELECTRONICS UP 25% ( see page 10).

 

3- CENTRAL BANKS WERE NET PURCHASERS OF 7 TONNES OF GOLD DESPITE THE IMF SALE OF 47 TONNES DURING THE QUARTER. RUSSIA WAS AMONG THE LARGEST BUYERS ( 34 TONNES). The philippines also bought more gold.

 

Gold Demand Trends for Q2 2010 out (see Enclosed file), and WGC press release below>

  

 

INVESTMENT DEMAND WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT ROBUST GOLD MARKET DURING 2010

 

Demand for gold will remain robust during 2010 as a result of accelerating demand from India and China, as well as increasing global investment demand driven by continuing uncertainty over public debt and economic recovery, the World Gold Council (“WGC”) said.

According to the WGC’s Gold Demand Trends report for Q2 2010, published today, demand for gold for the rest of 2010 will be underpinned by the following market forces:

* India and China will continue to provide the main thrust of overall growth in demand, particularly for gold jewellery, for the remainder of 2010.

* Retail investment will continue to be a substantial source of gold demand in Europe.

* Over the longer-term, demand for gold in China is expected to grow considerably. A report recently published by The People’s Bank of China and five other organisations to foster the development of the domestic gold market will add impetus to the growth in gold ownership among Chinese consumers.

* Electronics demand is likely to return to higher historic levels after the sector exhibited further signs of recovery, especially in the US and Japan.

 

Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the WGC commented:

“Economic uncertainties and the ongoing search for less volatile and more diversified assets such as gold will underpin investment demand for gold in the immediate future. Further, in light of lingering concerns over public debt levels and the euro, European retail investor demand has increased significantly.

“Over the past quarter, demand for gold jewellery in key Asian markets has been challenged by rising local prices. Nevertheless, we are seeing a deceleration in the pace of decline in demand, providing a strong outlook for ongoing recovery in this crucial market segment.”

 

 

GLOBAL DEMAND STATISTICS FOR Q2 2010

* Total gold demand1 in Q2 2010 rose by 36% to 1,050 tonnes, largely reflecting strong gold investment demand compared to the second quarter of 2009. In US$ value terms, demand increased 77% to $40.4 billion.

* Investment demand2 was the strongest performing segment during the second quarter, posting a rise of 118% to 534.4 tonnes compared with 245.4 tonnes in Q2 2009.

* The largest contribution to this rise came from the ETF segment of investment demand, which grew by 414% to 291.3 tonnes, the second highest quarter on * Physical gold bar demand, which largely covers the non-western markets, rose 29% from Q2 2009 to 96.3 tonnes.

 

 



Rogers Says World Needs Higher Interest Rates, Commodities Set to Advance

China and other global economies should increase interest rates to contain a surge in inflation, said investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings.
“Everyone should be raising interest rates, they are too low worldwide,” Rogers said in a phone interview from Singapore. “If the world economy gets better, that’s good for commodities demand. If the world economy does not get better, stocks are going to lose a lot as governments will print more money.”
China’s central bank hasn’t increased rates since November 2007. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve this month left the overnight interbank lending rate target in a range of zero to 0.25 percent, where it’s been since December 2008, while the European Central Bank has kept its key interest rate at a record low of 1 percent.
Policy makers in Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have increased the cost of borrowing at least once this year, while India has boosted rates four times in five months.
The global economy is at the risk of prolonging a recession after reports over the past two days showed U.S. home sales plunged by a record and Japan’s export growth slowed for a fifth month in July, he said.
“We never got out of the first recession,” Rogers said. “If the U.S. and Europe continue to slow down, that’s going to affect everyone. The Chinese economy is 1/10 of the U.S. and Europe and India is a quarter of China, they can’t bail us out.”
Rogers, who predicted the start of the global commodities rally in 1999, said he was short emerging markets and stocks and long on commodities.
“Commodities will go above their old high sometime in the next decade even if they only grow 5 to 6 percent annually,” said Rogers, who is a consultant for the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
Rogers said he would resume buying China’s stocks if they were to tumble as they did during the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008, when they plunged 65 percent. “I haven’t bought since the fall of 2008,” he said. “It it were to happen again, I hope that I’m smart enough to buy again.”
Allen Wan. With assistance from Chua Kong Ho. Editors: Richard Frost, Linus Chua
To contact the Bloomberg News staff on this story: Allen Wan in Shanghai at awan3@bloomberg.net

Rogers Says World Needs Higher Interest Rates, Commodities Set to Advance – Bloomberg

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Gold: The Enemy of Currencies
Last week saw gold prices rise despite deflationary fears.
Taking a look at the chart below we can see the gold price in US dollars has traded in a narrow range since May. This is despite the dollar declining for much of that time, see chart further below. (Click to enlarge)

 

 We noted last week that we were going to keep an eye on the Fed Open Market Committee meeting in case they decided to increase the money supply even further. But they didn’t.

The Federal Open Market Committee failed to commit to anything… they didn’t say they would resort to more quantitative easing… they didn’t say they wouldn’t. Instead they’re pausing for breath.

The inflation, deflation debate continues 
As the deflationary, inflationary debate continues to be waged between financial heavyweights we stand on the side and watch. We’ve always believed the act of quantitative easing is inflationary; It inflates the money supply. We also think the governments only way out, of this huge debt burden it has imposed upon itself, is to inflate the debt. If you make the value of your debt less you have less to pay back, but it’s a juggling act. Inflate too much and you run the risk of hyperinflation, something that, the Germans will tell you, doesn’t bode well for an economy.

US Trade Deficit
What’s the next move for gold? We have to wait and see what happens around the globe to find that out. Certainly, its course is no longer dictated by the movement of the dollar as much as it once was. Will this relationship resurface? Probably, but when it does it will most likely be when the dollar makes a significant move, triggering panic in the dollar or gold.

Which is more likely – a panic or strength in the dollar?
Last week Bloomberg reported that the US trade deficit has swelled to an incredible figure:
“The U.S. trade deficit widened by $7.9 billion in June, the most since record-keeping began in 1992, to $49.9 billion, a report from the Commerce Department showed. Exports posted the biggest decline since April 2009.

“Investors should prepare for “major structural changes” as the global economy shifts to slower growth, Mohamed A. El- Erian, chief executive officer at Pacific Investment Management Co. said yesterday in a radio interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene.”

This news reverberated around the markets.

A quick look at the VIX index shows us that fear has reentered the market… again. At the far right of the graph you can see the index rises sharply which signifies a growing fear of volatility in the markets.

With a stuttering economy and growing tension between the US and China, the trade balance could play a huge role in a dollar devaluation. But in order for the dollar to drop further people will have to lose faith in its safe haven status. Which means an alternative currency will need to take its place. The problem with this scenario is that there aren’t too many other candidates for the role as a global reserve currency. And whilst that is the case gold can continue to take center stage.

Will things get better?
In the grand scheme of things the debt, from Dubai to Greece has just been shuffled around. The run up in the stock markets suggests stability but investors are cautious. They’re wondering if this is another ‘suckers rally’. And they’re right to be cautious. If you play with fire… well you know that old saying. In other words it doesn’t end well.

Can things get better? That depends on what governments do.

More money printing can only add to the attractiveness of gold. But gold is the enemy of currencies. As Alan Greenspan once noted, to control the dollar you have to control the gold price.

The fight for governments around the world is one which is traded in blows against the gold price. And should they win the price of gold may very well settle back to lower prices until supported by a strong level of jewelry demand. But this is dependent on currencies being kept under control. Both the US and the UK have not ruled out further money printing, and with each new wave of money the original currency is worth less and less.

It all sounds too reactionary to us. There doesn’t seem to be a grand plan. Maybe there cannot be as the markets lead themselves. But whatever the case, none of the actions by those in power have any finiteness about them. There’s no plan and no control.

Disclosure: No positions
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U.S. Lawmakers Gear Up to Seek New Yuan Policy

WASHINGTON—The U.S. trade deficit with China in June hit its highest level in nearly two years and could spur congressional pressure on Beijing to revamp its currency policy.

America’s trade deficit with China jumped 17% in June over the previous month to $26.2 billion, the biggest gap since October 2008. Earlier this week, China said its overall trade surplus hit $28.7 billion in July, an 18-month high.

Associated Press

A production line in Guangdong province, in southern China, in May.

The Commerce Department figures could set the stage for a fight in Congress this fall over China’s currency policy. Some lawmakers, arguing that China has set the yuan artificially low to make its exports more price competitive on global markets, are keen to pass laws that would penalize countries that are found to be manipulating their currencies.

China, under pressure from the U.S. and other countries, announced a shift to a more-flexible exchange rate in June. But the yuan has appreciated less than 1% since then, and some economists say that it remains undervalued against the dollar by at least 25%.

While efforts to pass such legislation have made little headway, lawmakers and industry groups agree that the issue could gain traction in September, given that voters, who head to the polls in November, are angry about the country’s continued weak economy and high unemployment rate.

A number of bills have garnered bipartisan support, including measures promoted by Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) and Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.) in the House, and by Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) in the Senate.

These efforts would, among other things, make it easier for companies to seek import duties on goods from countries designated as having undervalued currencies. The Ryan-Murphy bill has more than 127 co-sponsors, including 37 Republicans.

Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), said the House Ways and Means Committee would hold a hearing on the currency issue in September after Congress returns from summer recess.

“But no final decisions have been made on moving legislation forward,” he said.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), a co-sponsor of the Schumer bill and a member of President Barack Obama’s Export Council, wrote Mr. Obama on Aug. 4, urging the administration to take tougher measures to address “unfairly subsidized exports” by countries such as China. Ten other senators signed the letter, including Republicans Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Olympia Snowe of Maine.

The Treasury Department on Wednesday declined to comment on the U.S.-China trade gap or China’s currency policy.

Business groups are expected to intensify their lobbying on the issue, although they differ over whether punitive legislation aimed at China’s currency policy is the best solution for narrowing the U.S.-China trade gap.

Augustine Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, a Washington trade group representing U.S. manufacturers, says the group backs the Ryan-Murphy bill and is lobbying lawmakers, targeting those from Midwestern and Southeastern states with large manufacturing sectors and high unemployment.

“These trade surpluses aren’t a result of happenstance,” he said. “We’re hoping concerns about job creation and the fall election environment will finally give us an opportunity to bring the legislation to a vote.”

Erin Ennis, vice president for the U.S.-China Business Council, which represents U.S. companies doing business in China, said the window for China to “show it was serious” about addressing U.S. concerns about the yuan would close in September, when Congress returns to session.

But while Ms. Ennis expected the Chinese currency policy to be a major issue in the fall, “this isn’t our member companies’ top priority,” she said.

Rather, she said that Congress and the administration should focus on reducing barriers to China’s market and on the country’s new “indigenous innovation” policy, which many Western companies say unfairly favors Chinese companies by promoting domestic innovation.
Write to Kathy Chen at kathy.chen@wsj.com

U.S.-China Trade Gap Stirs Lawmakers – WSJ.com

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THIS IS FURTHER GOOD NEWS FOR THE GOLD MARKET
China pushes for gold; India follows suit
Hot on China’s heels, India’s Central bank is mulling over a proposal to allow banks to trade in gold. If cleared, the move will only strengthen the validity of the bull case in gold.

Author: Shivom Seth
Posted:  Monday , 09 Aug 2010
MUMBAI  –  Mineweb

Hot on the heels of moves in China to expand the gold market in the country, several Indian bans have submitted a proposal to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, to permit them to trade in gold in the domestic market and also hedge their requirements.

These banks hope to take advantage of the current bout of bargain-hunting taking place in the country as investors take advantage of lower prices.

At present, banks are only allowed to buy gold. India’s central bank has permitted certain banks to import bullion on consignment basis for domestic jewellers and exporters but they do not stock gold. And, while a couple of the nominated banks authorised to import gold, sell gold coins at a premium of 10% to 15% over the market rate but, they are not permitted to buy back the gold they sell. Among their proposals, Indian banks have asked for permission to invest in gold exchange traded funds a move which is hoped will boost the trading of gold in demat and securitised forms.

Incidentally, banks and agencies such as the MMTC (Mines and Metals Trading Corporation) account for nearly 80% of the country’s gold imports.

Asian tiger

China’s central bank has said that it will allow its banks to import and export more gold as part of a programme to push forward the development of the country’s market in the precious metal. China is already one of the largest gold producers in the world and a leading consumer.
According to reports, China’s central bank is also ruminating over allowing second-tier institutions such as the Minsheng Banking Corp and China Merchants Bank to team up with four major state banks, including Bank of China, to hedge bullion positions in the overseas markets.
In a bid to increase the competitiveness of its domestic financial markets and broaden investment channels for ordinary customers, China’s central bank is also looking at allowing foreign suppliers to provide gold bullion directly to the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
Analysts have reportedly pointed out that China is keen that more of its banks trade with overseas counterparts, in a move that will reduce their reliance on the Shanghai Gold Exchange for hedging.
At the exchange, trading volumes have risen by more than half during the first six months of this year. HSBC and Standard Chartered are among five banks that are members of the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
For the full year 2009, India managed to import just over 35 tonnes, far below the 400 tonnes the country imported in 2008. China’s purchases in 2009, on the other hand, equalled 11% of global gold demand.
During the last quarter of 2009, however, demand for the precious metal increased 84% in India. The country already accounts for over 20% of the world’s gold demand.
Similarly, in the first quarter of 2010, India was termed the strongest performing market by the World Gold Council, as total consumer demand surged 698% to 193.5 tonnes. Indian jewellery demand rose 291% to 147.5 tonnes during the same period, the Council said.
World Gold Council’s investment managing director, Marcus Grubb, told reporters recently that the full-year gold demand in India was expected to be stronger than in 2009.

Reasons galore

Some bankers have noted that one of the major reasons why gold imports to India have been plunging in recent months is because Indian banks hold a lot of carry-over gold stocks. “Many consumers have stopped buying gold jewellery and are instead concentrating on imitation jewellery. Gold’s high price in the last four months is another factor that has kept some of them away, leading to a further slump in imports,” said an official with Mumbai-based Indian Bank, which is one of the 20 banks allowed to import gold. The bank’s proposal in 2008, to launch gold bullion trading, was stymied due to the disapproval of the Central bank.
A Bombay Bullion Association report noted that gold imports have fallen this year, from 34 tonnes in January to 13.8 tonnes in June, with the trend broken only in April, when the country imported 34.2 tonnes. The spurt in April was to meet additional demand during the Akshya Trithiya festival, considered an auspicious occasion to buy gold.
An executive of the Punjab & Sind Bank said:  “Gold is a popular investment vehicle in India, as well as being a traditional option for gifts. There is a lot of demand. In the present scenario, gold provides an excellent hedge against inflation, a source of liquidity and a form of savings as well,” the executive, who declined to be named, pointed out. The bank is also awaiting clearance from the RBI, and is eager to trade in gold.
It may be recalled that gold had stormed to record highs following news that India’s central bank had bought 200 tonnes of the metal from the IMF in October last. The Indian purchase had ensured that the RBI became the world’s 10th largest central-bank gold holder. It was the biggest single central-bank purchase in at least 30 years over such a short period, according to Timothy Green, author of The Ages of Gold.
“India did not buy that gold to sell it. It wanted to own it and keep it,” said the head of global markets at IndusInd Bank, another bank permitted by the Reserve Bank of India to import gold. “If banks are allowed to trade in gold, the move will only strengthen the validity of the bull case in gold,” the official added.
Citing the example of China, the official said, in its bid to overtake India as the world’s top consumer, Beijing has allowed more domestic banks to export and import bullion. China has reportedly increased its official gold holdings by more than 400 tonnes in the past few years to 1,054 tonnes.
“Beijing is keen to focus on bringing more gold into the country to satisfy domestic demand, but will not stir up global prices through official purchases,” the banker added. Other than banks, a few nominated government agencies and premier trading houses have also been allowed to import gold. With more banks in India now eager to step up to the plate, trading in the yellow metal could soon be a possibility.





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