Precious Metals Recap: Russia Becomes Largest Gold Buyer in the World

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On Monday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, dropped $17.80 to settle at $1,649.10 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March fell 53 cents to close at $30.91.

Both precious metals declined as news reports indicate the officials from the G7 may issue a statement later in the week addressing currency wars. Reuters claims the statement from the seven nations would focus on a “commitment to market-determined exchange rates and governments not using policies to drive currencies.”

However, central banks are still at the wheel of the global economy and nations are buying protection in the form of gold. According to IMF data complied by Bloomberg, Russia’s central bank added 570 metric tons of gold to reserves in the past decade, making the nation the largest gold buyer.

Evgeny Fedorov, a lawmaker for Vladimir Putin’s Untied Russia party, tells Bloomberg, “The more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there’s a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound or any other reserve currency.”

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) both declined more than 1 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) fell 4.6 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Silver names such as First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) declined 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

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