GOLD DEALING through London's wholesale market – heart of the world's physical gold trade – jumped as prices fell at the end of 2012, new data showed today.
Market-making members of professional trade-body the London Bullion Market Association, who oblige themselves to quote prices to buy and sell gold throughout the day, reported average daily gold dealing in December worth $33.3 billion between them.
Sizing up that "clearing" statistic by industry estimates for the unreported volume of London trade would suggest a figure of at least $100bn, perhaps as high overall as $290bn.
The jump in silver trading was more dramatic, up by 25% on a reported basis to average $4.3bn, the highest daily level since April 2012.
"Despite continued uncertainty about the global economy, particularly concerns regarding the US fiscal cliff, it was a good month for both metals," says the LBMA in data release today.
What the Association calls "strong client activity" was led by hedge funds trading widely across asset classes in a bid to profit from their "macro" view of the financial markets.
"Asia also re-emerged in the market," the release goes on, "with strong demand for physical metal and gold lending."