Swiss Regulators Are Investigating Gold, Silver Price Fixing Allegations, Too

Switzerland’s competition commission WEKO is investigating possible gold and silver price fixing in the precious metals market, its spokesman said on Tuesday.

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The former gold and silver fixes, along with other commodity benchmarks, have come under increasing scrutiny by regulators in Europe and the US since a London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) manipulation case in 2012.

The century-old gold fix, which ended in November,  was a standard price for the metal that banks set twice a day over the phone.

“We have a preliminary investigation into the manipulation of gold and precious metal price fixing,” the spokesman told Reuters. He declined to say which banks were involved.

The spokesman said this preliminary investigation began in 2014, without elaborating. This is a separate investigation than the one by the US Dept. of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is conducting into several banks, some of which previously participated in the silver and gold fixes.

On Tuesday, February 24, Japanese silver jumped up 3.0%, landing at JPY 618.00 ($5.20) per 10 grams and making it the day’s biggest increase. US silver closed 0.5% lower at $16.36 per ounce. The price of Indian silver is back up, rising by 0.5% on Tuesday to close at INR 36,328 ($584.23) per kilogram. The price of Chinese silver was unchanged at CNY 3,640 ($581.68) per kilogram.

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US gold bullion prices saw a 0.4% decline to $1,200 per ounce. After falling for two days, the price of Indian gold bullion rose 0.3% to INR 26,512 ($426.37) per 10 grams. The price of Japanese gold bullion flattened at JPY 4,595 ($38.64) following two-days of declines. The price of Chinese gold bullion held steady at CNY 247.91 ($39.62) per gram.

Following a two-day drop, the price of Japanese platinum bar increased by 0.6% to JPY 4,470 ($37.59) per gram. The price of US platinum bar declined 0.2% to $1,162 per ounce. The price of Chinese platinum bar saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 259.00 ($41.39) per gram.

At $787.00, the price of US palladium bar finished the market day up 0.8% per ounce. The price of Japanese palladium bar fell 0.8% to JPY 3,033 ($25.51) per gram on Tuesday after two days of no change. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese palladium bar held flat at CNY 174.00 ($27.81) per gram.

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