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According to a new academic paper, the London gold fix, which is used as the benchmark to value the metal by jewelers, miners, traders and central banks, may have been manipulated for about a decade by a group of bankers.

The study reveals “unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behavior….. the moves weren’t replicated during the morning call and hadn’t happened before 2004…”

One of the authors of the research paper Prof. Rosa Abrantes-Metz wrote “Libor Manipulation?” paper in 2008 which then uncovered the massive Libor fix scandal.

Earlier this week, FT published an article “Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert” that suggested that gold prices may have been manipulated on 50% of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013.

While the article has been removed (for unknown reasons) from FT website, Zero Hedge has published what they call a recreation of the article.

After an ugly performance in 2013, gold prices have rebounded nicely this year and are up more than 10% year-to-date. Rising concerns about the health of the economy and crisis in emerging markets have led some investors to seek safety in gold.

Strong demand from China—which has overtaken India as the world’s largest consumer of gold jewelry-- further aided the recovery. Chinese investors are increasing their gold investments probably out of concerns about the health of their own economy.

Do you think that gold prices are being manipulated? And can gold continue its uptrend this year? 

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