Russian, Swiss Central Banks Targeting Gold and Platinum

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The central banks of Russia and Switzerland are weighing the merits of buying gold and other precious metals, but for very different reasons, Bullion Vault reported.

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Now holding the world’s 5th largest state gold reserves, Russian central bank chiefs plan to meet with officials from South Africa – the world’s No.1 platinum mining nation – to discuss buying platinum and palladium in the open market to support prices, according to a Kremlin official.

Moscow’s precious metals and gems repository, Gokhran, already holds unreported quantities of palladium, of which Russia is the No.1 mine producer. Gokhran’s director, Andrey Yurin, last month repeated comments he made in May about returning to buy palladium in 2015, after focusing on buying gold this year.

The Swiss National Bank faces a popular vote on buying gold – aimed at reinstating the Franc’s bullion backing – but many are campaigning against the move.

Voters in Switzerland in 1999 approved an end to the legal requirement for gold reserves to back the Franc’s value, and approved large sales starting at what proved t2wo-decade lows, now some 70% below current prices.

To win a place on Switzerland’s next referendum, scheduled for November 30, the “Save Our Swis Gold” initiative secured over 100,000 signatures on a petition. Its proposals risk the central bank’s ability to ensure price stability and stable economic growth, finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Tuesday. Peter Hegglin – head of the Swiss cantons’ conference of finance directors – also joined SNB president Thomas Jordan’s repeated calls for voters to reject the move.

Chinese platinum bar saw a 1.5% drop on Friday, October 10, landing at CNY 266.00 ($43.31) per gram and making it the biggest mover of the day. Following two days of rising prices, the price of US platinum bar dropped 0.6% to $1,266 per ounce. At JPY 4,418 ($40.58) per gram, the price of Japanese platinum bar was essentially unchanged.

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The price of Chinese palladium bar declined 1.1% to CNY 174.00 ($28.33) per gram. The price of US palladium bar closed at $791.00 per ounce. Following a couple days of improvement, prices fell by 1.0%. Japanese palladium bar stayed flat at around JPY 2,702 ($24.82) per gram.

US gold bullion finished the day up 0.2% to $1,224 per ounce. Chinese gold bullion closed 0.1% lower at CNY 241.94 ($39.39) per gram. Following a couple days of improvement, the price of Indian gold bullion weakened by 0.1%. Prices closed at INR 27,057 ($441.35) per 10 grams. The price of Japanese gold bullion remained steady at JPY 4,233 ($38.88) per gram.

Indian silver ended the day at INR 39,094 ($637.70) per kilogram, after the 0.7% drop last Friday. The price of Chinese silver rose 0.6% to CNY 3,930 ($639.88) per kilogram after a two-day drop. At $17.35 per ounce, US silver fell 0.2% last Friday. Japanese silver held its value last Friday at JPY 600.00 ($5.51) per 10 grams.

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