UK citizens worried about the potential consequences of England leaving the European Union — dubbed Brexit (for British exit) — are rushing to buy gold and silver bars and coins, data from the UK Royal Mint shows.
According to Britain’s official producer of gold and silver coins and bars, sales have soared 32% over the past month, leading to a 150% increase in revenue, The Telegraph reports.
Customers seem particularly attracted to Sovereign and Britannia bullion coins, as well as signature gold bars, in their search for safe-havens ahead of Thursday vote.
The Mint is not alone. Other sellers, such as BullionVault and The Pure Gold Company have seen demand soaring in recent weeks.
Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault, told FT.com (subs. required) the firm’s new UK account openings in June had increased by 85% over the past 12 months’ daily average. While London-based Pure Gold said enquires were at an all-time high, which even forced them to hire seven extra staff to deal with the increased amount of requests.
Gold futures traded lower for a fourth session Wednesday morning and were headed to their lowest level in two weeks and they fourth consecutive day of losses.
The metal for August delivery was last down 0.3% at $1,268.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Bullion prices had climbed for much of early June driven by the US Federal Reserve decision to pare back its projected course for interest-rate hikes in light of shaky economic data.
According to analysts from French bank Société Générale S.A. gold prices are set to ride a rollercoaster whether English voters choose to remain in or sever ties with EU.
Should Brexit option win, investors will benefit from the increase in gold volatility the bank said in a note quoted by Bloomberg, adding it recommended “going long a gold-variance swap.”
The lender added the bet is best made before the poll, “This position will likely benefit from both a Brexit and Bremain outcome.”
Should UK citizens choose to stay in the EU, gold’s volatility will probably increase as investors who’d bet on bullion gaining, move to change those wagers, according to the bank. “We expect the re-positioning of investors holding long Brexit-related gold positions will drive volatility higher,” it said.