Current Gold PriceThe current gold price can be monitored via the COMEX ticker symbol GC.
The current gold price is represented by the gold commodities contract price of gold per
ounce or "spot gold price" (or simply "spot price") as traded in the COMEX (Commodities Exchange) under the symbol
GC. The major gold trading markets are New York, London, Zurich, Hong Kong and Sydney. The current gold price is
"fixed" every day in London by the 5-member Gold Pool and the metal then trades in these five markets with prices
fluctuations depending on the demand for gold versus the supply available and the perception of value which in turn
depends on a wide range of factors including the value of the various currencies, the price of other commodities
and the social, economic and political conditions throughout the world.
The gold rate will fluctuate throughout the day as it trades in the five main gold trading
centers. Trading does not "begin" anywhere and it basically trades continuously based on the spot price of gold
that is set by trading in all of the major markets and many smaller ones. An important and emerging gold market is
India which has the largest private holdings of gold but a relatively undeveloped trading mechanism that could help
monetize private gold, now held mainly in the form of jewelry.
The New York Commodity Exchange, or COMEX, has replaced London as the central gold trading
market in the world in the few short years since 1975 due to its advanced trading and pricing technologies along
with superior demand and supply factors and trading time. Being isolated geographically and by time zones by both
the Pacific and Atlantic, US markets trade longer by themselves before markets in Europe hand over to them and US
markets hand over to Australia and Asia.
The London Gold Market, or London bullion market, is run by members of the London Bullion
Market Association or LBMA which is superficially overseen by the Bank of England. Most of the members of the LBMA
are major banks, dealers or refiners, five of whom meet twice daily to "fix" the price of gold which is commonly
referred to as the gold
fix as already mentioned.
In the Hong Kong Gold Market, some of the world's largest banks and bullion traders
participate. There are two gold markets here actually--one prices gold in US dollars for delivery in London and is
called the Loco-London gold market and the other is the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society which prices gold
in Hong Kong dollars.
It is important to understand that the current gold price is
not entirely indicative of the price of gold coins, bars or bullion which is determined by a host of other factors.
The current gold price, which is the "melt value" of pure, raw gold and as the form of gold increases in
sophistication from paper gold to gold bars and ingots, then coins and jewelry, the price (referred to as the
premium) increases and can become astonomical when one considers such intagible factors as design, workmanship,
collectibility and rarity that may be found in gold bars, gold coins and jewelry. It is also important to realize
that while today's gold price will broadly influence the prices of all gold investments, it is not always a given.
For example, some gold mutual
funds and ETFs may be heavily invested in gold mines in a country that
is undergoing severe political disturbances or has had the misfortune of suffering a catastrophic
natural disaster. Such events would disrupt the functioning of the mines, sometimes severly, impacting their
share prices and those of the mutual funds that own them.