Brooklyn Pawnshop Sees Surge in Gold Sales Amid Price Rally

Amid gold's remarkable rally, with prices surpassing $2,400 an ounce, Brooklyn's King Gold & Pawn has been inundated with customers eager to sell their gold. The motivations vary: some are capitalizing on the high prices, while others, pressed by financial needs, are selling to afford essentials like rent and groceries. Gene Furman, the shop owner, notes an unprecedented tripling in transactions since late February, as individuals treat their gold assets as an emergency fund. Branden Sabino, an IT specialist, exemplifies this trend, selling his gold jewelry to manage rising living costs without any savings to fall back on.

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Geopolitical Strains Fail to Boost Oil Prices as Markets React Cautiously

Crude oil prices experienced a modest decline in reaction to the recent Iranian attack on Israel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for May delivery fell by 1%, closing at $84.83 per barrel, while Brent crude, the global benchmark, dropped 1.2% to $89.41 per barrel after briefly exceeding $90. Prices for May gasoline and heating oil also saw reductions of 1.2% and 1.6%, respectively. Natural gas prices decreased by 2.4%. The market's subdued response reflects investors' expectations that the attack, which was largely neutralized by Israel's defenses, would not escalate into a broader regional conflict.

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China Drives Silver to New Heights with Booming Solar Sector

Silver demand has been significantly driven by the growth in solar energy installations, particularly in photovoltaic (PV) cells. Last year, the demand for silver in PV cells reached a new high of 190 million ounces, up from 100 million in 2020, now accounting for about 30% of industrial silver demand. This increase is largely attributed to the rapid expansion of PV manufacturing and installation in China, which constitutes approximately 85% of the global manufacturing capacity. In 2023, China's new solar installations nearly matched the total global installations of the previous year. Looking ahead, it's projected that solar silver demand could surpass 200 million ounces in 2024.

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ZeroHedge: One Bank [Finally] Says Quiet Part Out Loud On Gold Manipulation

In the latest "Greed & Fear" report by Chris Wood of Jefferies, a prominent global capital markets firm, a significant portion is dedicated to discussing gold, touching on allegations of market manipulation. Wood, who is known for his expertise on various markets, particularly in Asia, and respected for his macroeconomic analyses, cautiously approaches the topic of gold price manipulation, suggesting it poses the greatest risk to the current gold rally. He also notes a recent significant transaction where China reportedly purchased oil from Russia using gold, underlining his credibility and depth of understanding in these complex market dynamics.

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Gold Price Predictions Skyrocket: Wall Street Banks See Record Highs

Major Wall Street banks have significantly raised their price targets for gold. This upward revision is influenced by increased safe-haven demand amid rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, although it seemingly contradicts the current Federal Reserve policy and trends in gold ETF outflows. The puzzling market dynamics have led to speculative forecasts, with Goldman Sachs setting a target of $2,700, Bank of America $3,000, and UBS an ambitious $4,000 per ounce.

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