Jul 112011
Kalen Smith, provided by Thursday, June 30, 2011 Gold is one of the most widely discussed metals due to its prominent role in both the investment and consumer world. Even though gold is no longer used as a primary form of currency in developed nations, it continues to have a strong impact on the value of those currencies. Moreover, there is a strong correlation between its value and the strength of currencies trading on foreign exchanges. To help illustrate this relationship between gold and foreign exchange trading, consider these five important aspects: 1. Gold was once used to back up fiat currencies. As early as the Byzantine Empire, gold was used to support fiat currencies, or the various currencies considered legal tender in their nation of origin. Gold was also used as the world reserve currency up through most of the 20th century; the United States used the gold standard until 1971 when President Nixon discontinued it. One of the reasons for its use is that it limited the amount of money nations were allowed to print. This is because, then as now, countries had limited gold supplies on hand. Until the gold standard was abandoned, countries couldn’t simply print their fiat currencies ad nauseum unless they possessed an equal amount of gold. Although the gold standard is no longer used in the developed world, some economists feel we should return to it due to the volatility of the U.S. dollar and other currencies. 2. Gold is used to hedge against inflation. Investors typically buy large quantities of gold when their country is experiencing high levels of inflation. The demand for gold increases during inflationary times due to its inherent value and limited supply. As it cannot be diluted, gold is able to retain value much better than other forms of currency. For example, in April 2011, investors feared declining values of fiat currency and the price of gold was driven to a staggering $1,500 an ounce. This indicates there was little confidence in the currencies on the world market and that expectations of future economic stability were grim. 3. The price of gold affects countries that import and export it. The value of a nation’s currency is strongly tied to the value of its imports and exports. When a country imports more than it exports, the value of its currency will decline. On the other hand, the value of its currency will increase when (more…)