Today’s AM fix was USD 1,283.50, EUR 927.38 and GBP 763.76 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,290.75, EUR 935.19 and GBP 767.34 per ounce.
Spot gold bullion prices ticked fractionally lower today and bullion remained below the $1,300/oz psychological level and not far off yesterday’s two-and-a-half-month lows.
Spot gold stood at $1,283.75/1,284.55 per ounce, up just 20 cents from Tuesday, when prices briefly dipped below technical support to hit $1,276.35, the lowest since February 11.
Silver bullion ticked 0.5% higher to $19.45/oz and the dollar, which touched a two-week high against the euro in the previous session, retreated somewhat to around 1.3845. Asian shares were mixed and European shares were lower after three days of gains.
Gold in U.S. Dollars - YTD 2014 - (Thomson Reuters)
Increasing geopolitical risks due to the very unstable situation in Ukraine is being ignored for now. There is also increasing geopolitical tension between China and Japan after China seized a Japanese trading vessel, resurrecting a World War II dispute.
Business Man Found With 12 Gold Bars In Stomach In India
You’ve heard of people described as having hearts of gold. But what about someone with a belly full of gold? That’s what doctors in New Delhi found, when a man arrived from overseas in severe discomfort.
CNN reports on the curious incident of the man with the golden belly in Delhi:
New Delhi, India (CNN) -- When a team of Indian surgeons opened up the stomach of a patient complaining of abdominal pain, they had no idea they'd extract a fortune.
The patient, whose name was not released, was hiding 12 gold bars in his belly. He apparently smuggled them into India to evade import duty, police and doctors said Tuesday.
Each bar weighed 33 grams, said C.S. Ramachandran, who conducted the surgery at a hospital in New Delhi on April 9. The 63-year-old patient, an Indian citizen, visited the hospital a day before with severe stomach pain and nausea.
"He told us he had accidentally swallowed the cap of a plastic bottle," Ramachandran said.
Investigations could not confirm his claim. "We couldn't (either) make out they were gold bars," the doctor said. "But yes, X-Rays showed there was intestinal blockage, which required surgery."
On the day of surgery, stunned doctors pulled out the yellow metal from his stomach. "It was unexpected," Ramachandran said.
The hospital handed over the precious extraction to local police. The bars have since been sent to customs, which is conducting a probe, said Alok Kumar, a deputy commissioner of police.
He didn't disclose the name of the patient. Nor did he reveal which country he smuggled the gold from. The patient was discharged after the surgery, and is doing fine. CNN story here
The gold bars are now in the care of Indian customs and the patient is under investigation for tax evasion, which certainly takes the shine off his import experiment. Fortunately for him, the export experiment under the surgeons knife was a success.
The gold bars are valued not just by the owner but by the Indian government. In total they’d command an import duty of $17,000 dollars. It’s little wonder some people would go to extreme lengths to try to avoid that.
Yes, this is what the process of removing twelve gold bars from the stomach of a 63-year-old looks like. Each of the objects weighs 33 grams, which might not sound much. A warning here, some of what you’ll see next, may upset your stomach.
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED DUE TO GRAPHIC NATURE OF IMAGES OF SURGERY
It is not known if the man intended selling the gold bars on or keeping them as a store of value.
It is interesting to note that while thousands of Indians have engaged in gold smuggling in recent months, smuggling in the western world consists primarily of drugs. This says something about the values system of India and Eastern societies versus that of the western world.
This is the lengths that people in Asia will go to own gold and also to avoid punitive taxes on gold. Middle class and wealthy Indian and people all over Asia are choosing to escape financial repression by owning gold, including gold in vaults overseas and allocated gold storage in Singapore is attractive to them due to the lack of punitive taxes and the safety of Singapore as a jurisdiction.
India remains the world's second largest gold market after China and despite a punitive tax of 10% levied on gold imports in India, Indian investment in gold bars recorded an increase of 16% in 2013, according to the World Gold Council.
Official demand surged as did unofficial demand in the form of a massive wave of gold smuggling.
The World Gold Council estimates that a huge 200 tonnes of gold may have been smuggled into India in 2013 - in flower pots, stomachs and other orifices…on ships, trains, planes and automobiles.
Gold is the metal most precious to the peoples of India, China and much of Asia. It is a symbol of wealth, power and beauty and the ultimate store of value. This is in contrast to people in the West, the majority of whom do not understand gold and it’s value.
This will change in the coming years.
P.s. Can someone please tell Nouriel that contrary to his assertion - you can eat gold.