The Financial Times reports this morning that global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50% of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy.
The findings come amid a probe by German and UK regulators into alleged manipulation of the gold price. Prices are set twice a day by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Societe Generale in a process known as the London gold fixing.
Fideres’ research found the gold price frequently climbs, or falls, once a twice-daily conference call between the five banks begins, peaks or troughs, almost exactly as the call ends, and then experiences a sharp reversal, a pattern it alleged may be evidence of “collusive behavior.”
Fideres concluded that this “is indicative of panel banks’ pushing the gold price upwards on the basis of a strategy that was likely predetermined before the start of the call in order to benefit their existing positions or pending orders.”
“The behavior of the gold price is very suspicious in 50% of cases. This is not something you would expect to see if you take into account normal market factors,” said Alberto Thomas, a partner at Fideres.