Technical Matters: Metal Commodities including Precious Metals: Pricing

Use of “pm London fix” price information provided by The London Bullion Market Association.

Gold and other metals including precious metals are price quoted here in our “Market Numbers” updates using the pm London fix price – the London fix price is set by the London Bullion Market Association twice each day, once in the morning (10:30 am) and once in the afternoon (3:00 pm).

The London gold fixing or gold fix is traditionally the procedure by which the price of gold is determined twice each business day on the London market – originally carried out by the five founding members of The London Gold Market Fixing Ltd, on the premises of  N M Rothschild & Sons.

It is designed to fix a price for settling contracts between members of the London bullion market, but informally the gold fixing provides a recognized rate that is used as a benchmark for pricing the majority of gold products and derivatives throughout the world’s markets.

The gold fix is conducted in United States dollars (US$), Pound sterling (GBP), and the euro (€) daily at 10.30am and 3pm, London time, via a dedicated telephone conference facility.

The fixing historically took place at the London offices of N M Rothschild & Sons in St Swithin’s Lane, but since 5 May 2004 it takes place by a dedicated telephone conferencing system. Until 1968, the price was fixed only once a day, when a second fixing was introduced at 3 p.m. to coincide with the opening of the US markets, as the price of gold was no longer under control of the Bank of England, a result of the collapse of the London Gold Pool. In April 2004 N M Rothschild & Sons announced that it planned to withdraw from gold trading and from the London gold fixing. Barclays Capital took its place on 7 June 2004 and the chairmanship of the meeting, formerly held permanently by Rothschilds, now rotates annually.

The current (at the time of pubilcation) five participants in the fixing, who must be members of the London Bullion Market Association are:

  • Scotia – Mocatta— successor to Mocatta & Goldsmid and part of  Bank of Nova Scotia
  • Barclays Capital — Replaced N M Rothschild & Sons when they abdicated
  • Deutsche Bank — Owner of Sharps Pixley, itself the merger of Sharps Wilkins with Pixley & Abell
  • HSBC — Owner of Samuel Montagu & Co.
  • Société Générale

Photo Credit: SBG PhotoStock

This information is given for general interest only. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, this can very quickly become out of date and should not be relied upon. 

[Published 27 February 2013]

Update [26 November 2013]

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK is undertaking a review of the way gold price benchmark setting is carried out as part of a wider investigation into global rates. As summarised above, London Gold Fixing is set twice per day at 10:30am and 3pm by a group of five banks. 

[End of Update]