Daily Market Update

Gold and Oil Rise As U.S. – Russia Relations Deteriorate Sharply

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,309.75, EUR 949.92 & GBP 782.74 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,314.75, EUR 955.14 and GBP 786.90 per ounce.

Gold rose $12.30 or 0.95% yesterday to $1,308.80/oz. Silver gained $0.13 or 0.65% to $20.01/oz.

NYMEX Crude in U.S. Dollars, Quarterly, 20 Years – (Thomson Reuters)

Russia and the U.S. are on a collision course after tensions flared anew in Ukraine, which is supporting gold.

Russian forces are deployed on the border and the U.S. says they’re concerned that Russia may be planning further incursions into eastern Ukraine after annexing Crimea. The Russian government said Ukraine’s crackdown on separatists in the east risks sparking civil war.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia of using “special forces and agents” to spark unrest, as Ukrainian authorities sent security forces to Kharkiv to try to rid the country’s second biggest city of separatists.

In Luhansk, 330 kilometers southeast of Kharkiv, pro-Russian protesters who seized a building of Ukraine’s state security service took hostages, planted mines and made threats with explosives and weapons, according to the Ukrainian security forces. Early today, they said that talks led to the release of 51 hostages without violence or injuries.

Gold in U.S. Dollars – Q4, 2012 to April 9, 2014 (Weekly) – (Thomson Reuters)

Geopolitical unrest has prompted investors to buy oil and gold which rose overnight. Gold climbed to the highest price in almost two weeks while crude oil also rose.

Kerry said yesterday that additional sanctions targeting Russia’s energy, banking and mining industry are “all on the table” if Russia intervenes further in Ukraine.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that any further Russian move into Ukraine “would be an historic mistake” and “a serious escalation.” He warned that “it’s obvious that the evolving security situation in Ukraine makes it necessary to review our defense plans.”

Russia has as many as 40,000 soldiers stationed along the frontier, according to the U.S. and NATO. Putin says they are conducting military exercises and will withdraw soon.

Russian President Vladmir Putin

According to reports in Russia’s RIA Novosti, Bank Rossiya, has introduced a new logo which is a gold ruble. Officials stated that the new logo, the golden badge of the Russian national currency will be officially adopted by Bank Rossiya. It will symbolize a sign of stability and security of the ruble gold reserves of the country.

Bank Rossiya has decided to work exclusively with the national currency, to cease foreign currency operations in response to U.S. sanctions imposed last week according to Reuters.

The golden logo is a symbol which will symbolize the rouble’s stability and its backing by the country’s gold reserves, the bank explained to Itar-Tass.

Symbolism is important and Putin may be sending the U.S. a message in the aftermath of JPMorgan unilaterally deciding to block an official Russian wire transfer, regarding how they might use gold as geopolitical weapon should economic and currency wars deepen.

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Mark O'Byrne
Executive Director


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