The yen fell to 149,588.2 yen, against gold its lowest level since 1980. According to the data on Bloomberg, the all-time record high for gold priced in yen was 204,850 yen on January 21, 1980.
Thus, yen gold remains 37% below the record intraday nominal high from 1980. Given the Japanese determination to devalue the yen to escape deflation, the record nominal high will almost certainly be reached in the next year or two.
Asian demand has definitely picked up again ahead of Chinese New Year. Gold bar premiums in Hong Kong are $1.25 an ounce, the most since July, and in Singapore $1.10 an ounce, the highest since March, Barclays Plc said according to Bloomberg.
Thus, reports of a record gold high in yen are not 100% accurate. The benchmark gold contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange rose to a record high of 4,821 yen a gram. The Tokyo Gold Exchange was only founded in February, 1982 so data does not capture gold’s record nominal highs in yen in 1980.
Nikkei Index, Quarterly, 1969-2013 – (Bloomberg)
Gold’s significant outperformance over stocks in Japan and internationally is leading to increased diversification into gold bullion from pension funds and institutions in Japan and internationally and this is set to continue. The gold-platinum spread closed in to $12.30/oz, its smallest in nine months. Supply concerns plus the perception of an improving global economic outlook drove investors to metals with industrial applications, such as platinum and palladium.
A LBMA panel of invited precious metal experts is predicting a 5% increase in the average gold price for 2013, slightly more for silver and platinum while palladium is seen as the precious metals biggest gainer.
Goldman Sachs is recommending “fresh tactical longs in gold” as the U.S. government debates whether to raise the debt ceiling.
Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged U.S. lawmakers to raise the country's borrowing limit to avoid a potentially disastrous debt default, warning that the economy was still at risk from a political standoff over the budget deficit.
Bernanke’s comments that the U.S. central bank isn't in a hurry to stop buying bonds and would continue its current ultra loose monetary policies saw the dollar fall on international markets.
U.S. Treasury 10-year note yields fell one basis point to 1.83 percent. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner warned yesterday that failure to raise the debt ceiling would “impose severe economic hardship.”
Bernanke gave only a brief response to the bizarre idea of the government issuing a $1 trillion platinum coin to try and avoid the debt ceiling and pay its bills. Over the weekend, the Treasury Department and the Fed both ruled out the idea, saying it wasn’t the right way to go.
“I’m not going to give that any oxygen,” he said.
The yen fell by more than 20% against gold in 2012 and analysts are concerned that Prime Minister Abe and his new government’s determination to stoke inflation, devalue the currency and promote growth could lead to further falls in 2013.
Economy Minister Akira Amari said today that Japan faces risks from declines in the yen after it weakened 3% this year against a basket of developed market currencies and by more than 20% against gold.
The monetary and financial system remains fragile.
Therefore, we recommend investors who wish to grow and protect their wealth to allocate physical gold to a diversified portfolio.
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