Gold (Forex Index pm fix) - Today's data summary

% change
Price dollars per ounce
As of 23:39 17 Feb 2020

Gold (Forex Index am fix) - Today's data summary

% change
Price dollars per ounce
As of 23:39 17 Feb 2020

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Inside the Bank of England

A rare look at billions of pounds worth of gold.

Bank of England gold: Rare look inside the vaults

How business can work together with communities

How business can work in hand with communities

AngloGold Ashanti is the third largest gold producer in the world.

The firm has operations in nine African countries, some of which are joint ventures.

In addition to hiring workers local to the countries it operates in, AngloGold says it also pays $2 (£1.54) per ounce of gold it produces into a community development fund, where the local people can choose which projects the money is invested into.


Chemist Andrea Sella celebrates how the element gold enhances our lives.
Human fascination with gold goes back a long way. For the Egyptians it was the ultimate symbol of wealth, power and eternal life. For this reason they buried their Pharaohs with extraordinary amounts of gold artifacts. It was craftsmanship beyond anything the world had seen before. As a noble metal, gold doesn’t tarnish which added to its status and association with the sun god Ra and the afterlife.

However, gold is not universally loved. Around the same time as the Egyptians were perfecting their goldsmithing skills, in China, the ruling class preferred jade.  For a while, the native people in the Americas preferred other metals over gold, like brass. Ships would sail from Europe, across the Atlantic Ocean to deliver brass to Cuba and sail back with a hold full of gold. 

The extraction of gold has an unpleasant past and continues in some areas of the world to be cloaked in controversy. Traditionally the method has been to dissolve gold in mercury. But mercury is poisonous to living things and its leakage into the environment is a cause for concern. Gold offers more than decoration – its excellent electrical conductivity and softness are needed for electrical connections. Scientists are inventing ways to recycle gold from our electronic waste using bacteria. The method offers a greener way to satisfy our lust for gold. 

Presenter: Andrea Sella.
Producer: Louisa Field.

Asian stocks drop after missile attacks in Iraq

Stock trader in front of Asian markets boards.
Getty Images

Asian stock prices were sent lower after two bases hosting US troops in Iraq were hit by ballistic missiles.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index fell by 1.3%, and Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 0.8%, and China's Shanghai Composite was 0.9% lower.

At the same time oil prices have risen over the growing conflict in the Middle East. Brent crude was up by 1.4% at $69.21 per barrelin the middle of the Asian trade, easing back from earlier gains.

So-called safe haven assets, like gold and the Japanese yen, also rose on the news.

Gold hits highs

Gold bullion

Overnight, the spot price of gold hit $1,582.59 an ounce. That's its highest since April 2013

Investors have flocked to the "safe haven" asset amid increasing uncertainty in the Middle East following the US attack on Iran's military commander Qasem Soleimani.

Spot prices later fell back slightly but on the US gold futures markets gold was selling for $1,568.80, 1.2% higher than at the start of the day.

Gold price at highest level for nearly seven years

Gold bars

Oil is not the only commodity that has seen its price jump in reaction to the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimanio.

The price of gold - which is considered a haven asset in times of uncertainty - has risen to its highest level for nearly seven years.

The spot gold price rose 1.6% to $1,579.72 per ounce, its highest since April 2013.

The price of oil has slipped back from its earlier highs. At one point on Monday, Brent crude hit $70.74 a barrel, but a few minutes ago it had fallen back to $69.54.

Investors look for ‘a safe haven’

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Gold bars
Getty Images

Simon French, chief economist at Panmure Gordon, has been speaking to the Today programme about commodity prices amid rising tensions between the US and Iran.

He said that uncertainty meant that investors were moving to assets and currencies “traditionally seen as a safe haven”, such as gold or currencies like the Japanese Yen.

He added: “Let’s be really honest, nobody knows how this standoff between the US and Iran will evolve.

“And in that environment, where you’re concerned over the long-term economic implications, gold as a traditional store of value is something that investors look to.”