In yet another sign of gold’s growing importance, JPMorgan Chase has decided to accept the metal as collateral for certain loans.
"It's solidifying a trend that gold is re-establishing its role as a monetary and financial asset," Carlos Sanchez, associate director of research for New York commodities consultancy CPM Group, tells The Wall Street Journal.
Gold reached a record high of $1,432 an ounce in December before slipping to about $1,363.59 late in New York on Tuesday.
JPMorgan will let customers such as hedge funds use gold as collateral to borrow money for short periods. That will allow the funds to allocate the borrowed money to attractive investment opportunities. Until now banks have only accepted Treasury bonds and stocks as collateral for these loans, according to the Journal.
The change obviously means JPMorgan sees gold as a very safe asset. It also wants to take advantage of the fact that hedge funds and other investors with mounds of gold just gathering dust in storage want to leverage those holdings into profitable investments.
Some experts say JPMorgan’s move will boost gold prices. “The announcement should be slightly positive for gold prices, as it further grows the belief that gold is a currency and has more uses than simply acting as a safe haven or portfolio diversifier,” Tom Pawlicki, an analyst at MF Global, says in a report obtained by Bloomberg.
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