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Australian Precious Metals

Australian Precious Metals

January 4, 2017

Chapter 54 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

My first trip to Australia with Sidney came at the end of our Asian adventure. Australia is a major commodities producing country.  There were many customers and counterparts to visit. Visiting a country so far removed from the rest of the world was exciting.  My brother had recently married a woman from the country. They were living in Israel. I would have a few hours to sneak off to meet her parents and sister, a new part of my family.

We landed at Kingsford Smith Airport and made our way through immigration and customs. Sid commented to the officer inspecting our passports that they spelled the name of the city wrong. It was “Sidney not Sydney,” he said. I would hear that comment throughout our time in the city that was a hybrid of London and San Francisco.

The main purpose for our excursion to the continent of Australasia was to attend a gold conference. Sid was a keynote speaker at the Sydney Gold Conference. Of course, he began his speech telling the audience of Aussies that they spelled the name of their city wrong.

Our journey through Australia took us to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. One of the most important stops happened at our first stop where we visited two banks. Macquarie Bank and Mase Westpac were key cogs in the global gold and silver markets.

Each day, after the New York market closed, for a couple of hours, the gold dealing desks of these two Australian banks owned the precious metals markets. As a result of the time difference, there was a three-hour window between the New York close and the opening of the market in Hong Kong. This was where all of the over-the-counter precious metals business flowed through their Sydney offices.

The presence of these two banks made the gold and silver business a 24-hour-a-day market. Trading commenced late Sunday afternoon, New York time, when Australia opened on their Monday morning and closed with the New York close late Friday afternoon. Hong Kong had a brief Saturday session, but it was mostly for local Chinese gold business.

I had been with Sid for over two weeks when it came time to leave Australia and fly back to New York. While I had been on many long haul flights by that time, nothing could compare to the journey from Sydney to New York via Los Angeles. It felt like I was on a plane forever. Although it was first class all the way, it was confining.

Sid, as usual, spent most of the time on the flight talking Philipp Brother’s politics and how much he hated and mistrusted John Gruen. I had heard the same complaints for over two weeks by that time. So, I just let it go in one ear and out the other. I was never so happy to touch down at JFK airport on that Friday evening. The trip was draining in itself. However,  it would not be the last time I made that journey.

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Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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