Swiss Banks Offer Allocated Gold and Silver Accounts

Gold gained in Friday trade as U.S. non-farm payrolls data indicated the Federal Reserve may continue stimulus for longer than some members of the Federal Open Markets Committee may have hoped, per the minutes from the November FOMC meeting.

Earlier this week, surprising news the United States GDP shrank by 0.1 percent brought gold prices $19.60 higher per troy ounce. Gold was again hammered down during trade on Thursday, but Friday’s non-farm payrolls numbers brought the gold price to a gain for the week and year.

By mid-morning trade on Friday, the price of U.S. gold futures for April delivery gained $8.80, or 0.53 percent, to $1,670.60 per troy ounce. The spot price of gold also gained with $7.11, or 0.43 percent, to $1,670.88 per troy ounce.

During the price of action of January 2013, sales of U.S. bullion coins surged at the U.S. Mint with American Eagle Silver Coins racing to an all-time high. Sales levels for the month are in spite of a period of over one week when sales of American Eagle Silver Coins were suspended by the Mint as it sought to replenish its inventory. Sales to the Mint’s authorized network of distributors have now resumed on an allocation or rationing basis.

Sales of American Eagle Silver Coins have now reached 7,498,000 ounces for the month, an all-time record for monthly sales not surpassed anywhere in the coin’s 27-year history.

During the record physical demand, news reports indicate that Swiss banks, including UBS and Credit Suisse, have made a move to offer allocated gold and silver accounts to their clients including high net worth individuals, hedge funds, other banks and institutions.

This will give the entities the ability to take direct ownership of the bullion in allocated accounts.

News reports state that like their global peers, UBS and Credit Suisse are under pressure from regulators to reduce capital-intensive activities ahead of the introduction of new Basel III global banking rules. It is also entirely like the banks made the move to allocated storage in response to an increased awareness and concern about systemic risk and a preference for owning gold directly.

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