Earlier this morning the anti-gold brigade was foaming in the mouth on the news that the German central bank had for the first time in a year sold gold. As it turns out they were half right: the bank indeed sold gold: a 'whopping' 150,000 toz or about $250 million worth... But not in the open market, and not even to natural buyers of physical like Sprott and everyone else not infatuated with voodoo theories of infinite repoability of debt. They sold it to the German ministry of Finance... to mint commemorative coins. Coins which we are now confident will be promptly mopped up by the general public. Following the sale Germany will be left with a modest 109,194,000 troy ounces, enough to allow the country to gladly tell Europe to do some anatomically impossible things and to fall back to a hard asset baked currency if and when it should so desire.
Germany has lowered its gold reserves for the first time in almost a year, selling 150,000 troy ounces in October while central banks of developing economies continued to beef up their bullion holdings in a bid to diversify their foreign reserves.
Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany, reduced its reserves to 109.194 million ounces in October, from 109.344 million ounces in September, according to International Monetary Fund data seen by Dow Jones Newswires.
A spokesman for Bundesbank confirmed 150,000 ounces of gold had been sold to the Ministry of Finance to mint commemorative coins. The last time Germany's reserves were lowered was in December 2010, when the Bundesbank reduced total holdings by 27,000 ounces, from 109.371 million ounces.
This simply means that any fears of the demise of the Bundesbank's gold are greatly exaggerated:
"There is no reason to start speculating about the future of German gold reserves," he said. "The German gold reserves are there for the impartial Bundesbank…There is no reason to change that."
The Bundesbank spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires that all gold sold by the Bundesbank since 2004 had been only for the minting of commemorative coins.
Germany is the world's second-largest official gold holder, with about 71% of its foreign reserves held in bullion, according to the World Gold Council. The only country with higher reserves is the U.S., at 261.499 million ounces.
As for the others...
Other central banks added to their reserves. Russia, a regular buyer from its own domestic market, continued its program of gold accumulation, lifting its reserves by 627,000 ounces to 28.005 million ounces.
Kazakhstan also reported significant additions in a second consecutive month of gold buying. Its reserves totaled 2.366 million ounces at the end of October, up from around 2.265 million ounces in September.
Recent purchases by the official sector have helped drive gold prices higher, because those purchases absorb supply and boost market sentiment.
"Day to day, gold is still trading against the dollar, but in the long run, this is very gold-positive," said VTB Capital Andrey Kryuchenkov. "Central banks are diversifying, and it has intensified to a rate that nobody had expected."
So while everyone is obviously seeing the writing on the wall, various theoretical economists who would be broke 10 times over in the real world if they put their money where their mouth is continue to preach what nobody cares about: