The guiding principle behind the prices for gold and silver is that all business, whether for large or small amounts, is conducted solely on the basis of a single published price. Orders can be changed throughout the proceedings, as the price moves higher or lower, until such time as buyers' and sellers' orders are matched and the price is said to be'fixed'. Clients around the world wanting to buy or sell gold and silver may all do so at the fixing price. These fully transparent benchmarks are globally accepted as the basis for pricing a variety of transactions, including many financial instruments. They may also be used as a basis for cash-settled swap and option transactions. Orders executed at the fixings are conducted as principal-to-principal transactions between the client and the dealer through whom the order is placed.
The Gold price in London is set twice a day by telephone, at 10:30 and 15:00 by five LBMA Market Makers who comprise the London Gold Market Fixing Limited (LGMFL). They are: the Bank of Nova Scotia–ScotiaMocatta, Barclays Bank Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank USA NA and Société Générale. The chairmanship of the Gold Fixing rotates annually amongst them.
At the start of each fixing, the Chairman announces an opening price to the other four members, who relay it to their dealing rooms where customers can then declare their interest as buyers or sellers. Provided there are both buyers and sellers at the price, members are then asked to state the number of ounces they wish to trade. The members then net all orders and inform their representative at the Fixing of this net interest. The gold price is then adjusted up and down until demand and supply is matched, at which point the price is declared "Fixed" and all business is conducted on the basis of that price.
If at the opening price there are only buyers or only sellers, or if the numbers of ounces to be bought or sold does not balance, then the price is adjusted up and down until demand and supply is matched. The Chairman then announces that the price is "fixed". It should be noted that the price is only set or agreed if the buy amount and the sell amount are within 300,000 ozs of each other. This procedure will last as long as it is necessary to establish a price that satisfies both buyers and sellers. Clients can place orders in advance of the "Fix" and trim or adjust their orders based on the price changes at any time during the process, until such time as the price is agreed.
Prices for gold are published immediately after the price is agreed by the various news agencies and on our website. Select the accompanying Chart and Table tabs to access both current and historical gold prices. For more information on the Gold fixings, including viewing the time stamps for the daily prices, visit the London Gold Fixing Company website.
The price of silver is set in London once a day by telephone, at 12:00, by the three LBMA Market Makers who comprise the London Silver Market Fixing Limited (LGMFL): Scotiabank, Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Bank USA NA.
The procedure is broadly the same as that for the gold fixing, with the price set or fixed once the buying and selling orders have been matched.
Prices for silver are also published immediately by the various news agencies and on our website. Select the accompanying Chart and Table tabs to access both current and historical silver prices. For more information on the Silver prices, including viewing the time stamps for the daily prices, visit the London Silver Fixing Company website.
The Gold Forward Offered Rate is an international benchmark rate at which dealers will lend gold on a swap basis against US dollars, providing the foundation for the pricing of gold swaps, forwards and leases.
The LBMA Forward Market Makers contribute to GOFO by submitting each business day their forward quotes for gold for maturities or tenors of one, two, three, six and twelve months. Both bid and offer prices are submitted at, or soon after 10:30 am and must be submitted by no later than 10:45 am. The quoted spreads must be in line with current market conditions.
The prices submitted are dealable between the Forward Market Makers until 11:00 am. At 11:00am, the mean is calculated for each tenor by discarding the highest and lowest quotations and averaging the remaining rates. The rates provide a benchmark dataset which is used as the basis for some long-term finance and loan agreements as well as for the settlement of of gold Interest Rate Swaps and Forward Rate Agreements. The data is published by the LBMA and is available by following the link in the Useful Links section on the right hand side of the page. To show derived gold lease rates, the GOFO means are subtracted from the corresponding values of the US LIBOR (London Interbank Offer Rates). These rates are also available on our website.
The seven LBMA Forward Market Makers who contribute to GOFO are as follows: The Bank of Nova Scotia-Scotia Mocatta, Barclays Bank plc, HSBC Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPM Chase Bank, Societe Generale and UBS AG.
Market convention is for the interest payable on loans of gold to be calculated in terms of ounces of metal. These are then converted to US dollars based on a US dollar price for the metal agreed at the time of the lease transaction. The interest basis for gold and silver is a 360-day year.
Interest therefore equals: B x (R/100) x (d/360) x P
Where B is ounces of bullion, R is the lease rate, D is the number of days and P is the Price of gold or silver agreed for calculation of interest. Markets Outright Forwards and Swaps Market convention is for forward prices in gold and silver to be quoted in interest rate terms on the basis at which a dealer will borrow or lend metal on the swap.
A dealer therefore may quote three months forward at say 0.40 % to 0.50 %.
This means that he will lend on the swap (i.e. sell spot and buy forward), at 0.40 % per annum over the spot price for the forward leg, or borrow on the swap (buy spot and sell forward), charging 0.50 % per annum over the spot for the forward.
In this scenario, were the dealer to be asked to lend on the swap at 0.40 % and the spot price were say $1,365 to 1,365.50, the dealer would, in accordance with market practice, base the deal at the middle of the spread. He would therefore sell the spot at $1,365.25, and buy the forward at a premium calculated as:
$1,365.25 x 90/360 x 0.4/100 = $1.37.
The forward price therefore equals: $1,365.25 + $1.37 = $1,366.62.
In addition to the Gold Forward Rates since September 2009, the LBMA Forward Market Makers have also collated three data sets which are used for valuing end-of-day positions. This data consists of the LBMA Gold Forward Curve, the LBMA Silver Forward Curve and the LBMA Gold IRS curve. These data sets provide a complete set of tenors from some of the largest participants in the London Bullion Market and complement the Gold Forward Rate data set. This data is used as a reliable basis for valuing end-of-day positions. Access to valuation points, including spot, out to: 10 years forward for gold; 3 years forward for silver; 12 months to 10 years forward for Gold IRS.
The LME act under licence from the LBMA to collate, process and publish the data once daily at 17:00 UK Time. The full data set is available from $15.00 per user per month and can be accessed from Thomson Reuters (Gold RIC "0#XAU=LBMA, Silver RIC "0#XAG=LBMA", Gold IRS RIC "0#AUI=LBMA") and Bloomberg (page code "LBMA") or via the LME's list of other data vendors distributing the data.
*Fixing data reproduced by kind permission of the London Gold Market Fixing Ltd and the London Silver Market Fixing Ltd . Please refer to their websites to see licensing requirements for the commercial use of the data as well as the time stamps.