What is the gold fix?

The price of gold is fixed twice a day at 10.30 am and 3.00 pm by the four main Bullion Houses - HSBC, Barclays Capital, Scotia Mocatta and Societe Generale. The first gold fix was on 12th September, 1919 and was £4 18s 9d. This tradition has continued in order to provide a publicly quoted price as a benchmark to be used by producers and consumers. The Chairman announces an opening price and the other members, connected by a dedicated conference call facility from their dealing rooms, declare themselves to be buyers or sellers of a number of bars at that price. In earlier years the members used to meet at the premises of N M Rothschild to fix the price. Each representative had a small flag on his desk and this was raised at a change of orders from his dealing room. If any flag was raised, the price could not be fixed. The price is moved until an optimum price is achieved to satisfy both buyers and sellers. Once the total buy and sell amounts from each dealing room are within 25 bars of each other, the gold price can be fixed. Immediately the price is fixed, it starts moving again on the market.