Precious Metals

Gold, silver prices skyrocketing after Brexit vote

The price of gold is on the rise Friday as the Brexit vote has been troublesome for financial markets.

The value of the pound and euro are tanking Friday morning after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and the value of gold and silver are flying high. 

Safe-haven precious metals purchasing is likely behind the surge in the prices of gold and silver, which currently stand at $1,321.30 and $17.81 per ounce, respectively, according to Bloomberg. 

Kitco News reported Friday morning that gold rallied approximately $100 overnight, but fell back by about $40 "as profit-taking set in."

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The vote in support of the UK leaving the EU, which is being referred to as the Brexit, was confirmed in news reports overnight.  

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"Global markets have been in a tizzy," Kitco reports, "with the British pound tumbling to a three-decade low, the euro also weakening, global stock bourses tumbling and most commodities on the defensive."

Bloomberg reports that the gold surge is the most drastic since the height of the 2008 global financial crisis. The price of gold stood at $1,255.60 at 6 pm ET Thursday. That represents a 5.2 percent increase.

Chris Howard, the Royal Mint's director of bullion, issued a written statement Friday stating that it has seen a "significant spike" in gold purchases, especially at its online bullion trading platform, where there has been a 550 percent increase in traffic when compared to the same time Thursday.

"Whilst we are uncertain at this stage what impact the results of both the European Referendum vote and the U.S. elections will have on the gold market in the long term, we have ensured that with The Royal Mint’s bullion trading platform and our significant gold holding, we are prepared for possible market turbulence," Howard said in the statement.

What's causing markets to crash?

If and when the UK does indeed leave the European Union, there are concerns that it would disrupt the entire European economy.

"Britain's economy and legal system have become deeply integrated with the European continent," Vox reports. "Unraveling those relationships is likely to be economically and socially disruptive."

So the news of the vote, which is nonbinding but is expected to lead to the UK's departure, is leading to a lack of economic confidence in Europe. There are also concerns about the UK's economic future outside of the EU.

As of 10:01 a.m. ET, the euro is valued at $1.10. The pound, as well, is suffering. It's currently at $1.37.

Why are gold and silver prices spiking?

Gold and silver investing has historically been viewed as a hedge against the unpredictability of the overall economy, and in turn, a safe haven when other markets experience a downturn. 

Gold is valuable. That is based on the fact that we know there’s not a lot of it, and we know it is appealing to people. So while the health of someone’s investments in the stock market is subject to the performance of the companies invested in, gold is a known commodity with a value that, while it does fluctuate over time as we’ll explain later, generally does not fluctuate with the suddenness that a company’s stock can.

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