Federal Court Consolidates Deutsche, Scotiabank, HSBC Silver Price-Fixing Lawsuits

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Litigation alleging that Deutsche Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC Plc illegally fixed the price of silver has been centralized in Manhattan federal court.

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Lawsuits filed by investors since July over the alleged price-fixing were consolidated on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, following an order issued last Thursday by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, a special body of federal judges that decides when and where to consolidate related lawsuits, Reuters reported.

The panel ruled that the cases should be handled by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan, who is already overseeing similar litigation over alleged gold price-fixing.

Three suits were originally filed in Manhattan, while two were filed in Brooklyn. The plaintiffs in the Brooklyn suits had sought to have the litigation consolidated there.

The plaintiffs allege that the banks abused their power as participants in the silver fix, a London-based benchmark pricing method dating back to the Victorian era, in which banks set silver prices once a day by phone. In August, the system was replaced by a new benchmark system administered by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Thomson Reuters.

With a decline of 1.3% to CNY 3,880 ($631.74) per kilogram on Wednesday, October 15, Chinese silver recorded the biggest price drift of the day. The price of US silver declined 0.6% to $17.39 per ounce, after two days of improvement. After holding steady for the past few days, the price of Japanese silver fell 0.3%, closing at JPY 598.00 ($5.49) per 10 grams. At INR 39,285 ($640.81) per kilogram, the price of Indian silver was essentially unchanged.

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The price of Chinese gold bullion declined 0.6% to CNY 242.42 ($39.47) per gram. US gold bullion ended the day at $1,232 per ounce, after the 0.4% drop on Wednesday. After a 0.3% increase, Japanese gold bullion finished the day at JPY 4,254 ($39.07) per gram. Indian gold bullion stayed flat at around INR 27,221 ($444.03) per 10 grams.

At CNY 266.00 ($43.31) per gram, Chinese platinum bar fell 0.7% on Wednesday. The price of Japanese platinum bar increased 0.6% to JPY 4,403 ($40.44) per gram. US platinum bar prices inched up 0.3% to $1,263 per ounce.

After two changeless days, the price of Chinese palladium bar fell 1.1% to CNY 172.00 ($28.01) per gram. US palladium bar finished the day up 0.9% to $788.00 per ounce. The price of Japanese palladium bar remained essentially flat at JPY 2,742 ($25.19) per gram.

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