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A Good Delivery bar, the standard for trade in the major international gold markets. Of all the precious metals, gold is the most popular as an investment. Gold price per gram between Jan 1971 and Jan 2012. Gold has been used throughout history as money and has been a relative standard for currency equivalents specific to economic regions or countries, until recent times. Many European countries implemented gold standards in the latter part of the 19th century until these were temporarily suspended in the financial crises involving World War I. Since 1919 the most common benchmark for the price of gold has been the London gold fixing, a twice-daily telephone meeting of representatives from five bullion-trading firms of the London bullion market. Like most commodities, the price of gold is driven by supply and demand, including speculative demand.
However, unlike most other commodities, saving and disposal play larger roles in affecting its price than its consumption. Given the huge quantity of gold stored above ground compared to the annual production, the price of gold is mainly affected by changes in sentiment, which affects market supply and demand equally, rather than on changes in annual production. Central banks and the International Monetary Fund play an important role in the gold price. Although central banks do not generally announce gold purchases in advance, some, such as Russia, have expressed interest in growing their gold reserves again as of late 2005. In early 2006, China, which only holds 1.