How Precious Metal Prices are Traded

About Precious Metal Prices

Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium are traded globally on an almost continuous basis from Monday through to Friday during the working week. The two key markets the metals are traded on are firstly the physical spot market and secondly as futures or option contracts on financial exchanges. Although there are other ways to participate in the markets for these metals, most noticeably via Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Contract for Difference (CFDs), these vehicles act as proxies for the wholesale markets themselves.

For much of the time, the spot markets are open at the same time as the futures markets and physical arbitrage ensures that the two markets are kept in line. With the advent of electronic trading, futures markets, such as the COMEX and NYMEX divisions of the CME are able to provide highly accurate price information down to the size and price of the last trade. However reporting and exchange fee requirements mean that these prices are restricted to subscribers of a market data platform such as FastMarkets Professional. The spot market however remains an unregulated Over the Counter (OTC) market place, where indicative bid and ask quotations are supplied by a number of market participants for spot (two business days forward of today) delivery. Although all spot price feeds are indicative and contain no actual transaction information, they remain a very good guide to where the market is trading and are the main source of reference for the private investor.

Live spot prices

The spot prices you see on the Bullion Desk are the key live spot prices for these precious metals; London spot for gold and silver and Zurich spot for platinum and palladium. All quotations are in US dollars per troy ounce which is the accepted market norm. Prices for the precious metals in many other currencies are also available.