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Gold Reserves

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the statement by the Lord McKenzie of Luton on 4 July (Official Report, col. 133) that the evaluation of the Government’s sale of gold reserves must be “in the long term”, whetherthey will define what they mean by “long term”.[HL6803]

At the end of the Bretton Woods system, gold prices rose over a 10-year period from $35 per ounce in 1970 to $850 per ounce in 1980. The gold price then declined, at one point dropping more than $200 per ounce over five trading days, reaching a low of around $253 per ounce 19 years later. The volatility and the duration of fluctuations in the gold price make it inappropriate to measure gains or losses over the short period since the end of the gold sales programme in 2002.