Today's AM fix was USD 1,620.75, EUR 1,288.66, and GBP 1,046.25 per ounce.
Yesterday's AM fix was USD 1,633.25, EUR 1,305.45, and GBP 1,057.33 per ounce.

Silver is trading at $29.51/oz, €23.55/oz and £19.04/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,470.00/oz, palladium at $626.00/oz and rhodium at $1,200/oz.

Gold rose 1% yesterday prior to giving up those gains and rising just $1.20 in New York and closed at $1,619.60/oz.  Gold has been trading sideways in Asia and continues in Europe hovering above $1,620/oz. 

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Cross Currency Table - (Bloomberg)

The ECB decision yesterday and 'Helicopter Bens' testimony today will likely indicate that ultra loose monetary policies and negative real interest rates are here to stay - indeed they may even intensify.  

Gold has fallen slightly today but remains near a one month high. 

Market participants will be watching Bernanke's testimony before Congress later today, a day after Janet Yellen and Dennis Lockart, both indicated yesterday they were prepared to make monetary policies even looser in yet another attempt to boost the very shaky US economic recovery.

Ben Bernanke testifies at 1400 GMT before the US Congress and most investors expect some form of easing by the Fed to be announced.  Adding fuel to the fire for risk in general, European policy makers are quickly trying to solve Spain's debt crisis even though the country has not asked for any outside aid.

In Europe the focus is on the upcoming Greek elections (June 17th) and also a meeting taking place the following two days with European policymakers to ascertain whether Greece still desires to be part of the eurozone's single currency.

Central bank gold demand remains robust as central banks continue to diversify out of the euro and the dollar. Further central bank demand is confirmed in the news this morning that Kazakhstan plans to raise the share of gold in its international reserves from 12% to 15%.

So announced central bank Deputy Chairman Bisengaly Tadzhiyakov to reporters today in the capital, Astana.

We've already signed contracts for 22 tons, Tadzhiyakov said. Bloomberg report that immediate-delivery gold was little changed at $1.620.41 an ounce at 10:50 a.m. in Moscow, valuing 22 metric tons of gold at about $1.2 billion. The bank is ready to buy when suppliers are ready to sell, Tadzhiyakov said.

Kazakhstan said yesterday it will cut its holdings in the euro by a sixth.

It was reported in the Reuters Global Gold Forum that the central bank buys all the gold produced in Kazakhstan and owned 98.19T at the end of April, according to the IMF's most recent international finance statistics report.

Meanwhile, supply issues remain and South African gold production continues to plummet.

South African gold production fell 12.8% in April from a year earlier, Juan -Pierre Terblanche, a spokesman for Statistics South Africa, told Bloomberg.

Silver's surged 3% yesterday in dollars and by similar amounts in most other currencies.

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XAG/USD Exchange Rate - (Bloomberg)

The surge was impressive as it came against a backdrop of negative economic  data.

The supply demand dynamics in the silver market remain conducive to higher prices in the coming months.

Silver investment demand remains robust as seen in the silver holdings of the iShares Silver Trust, the biggest exchange-traded product in the metal. It jumped 30.17 metric tons yesterday to 9,699.25 tons, according to figures on the company's website reported by Bloomberg.

Silver remains undervalued from a historical perspective and from the all important inflation adjusted perspective. This means that reaching the record nominal high of $50/oz remains a possibility in 2012.

The Bloomberg composite inflation adjusted silver chart below shows how silver remains undervalued. The Bloomberg chart has an inflation rate that is even lower than the CPI inflation adjusted chart which shows that silver was at $140/oz in 1980.

Longer term the inflation adjusted 1980 high of $140/oz remains realistic - especially given the increasing use of silver in various industrial application and  silver's increasing investment demand - especially in Asia where silver is now the cheaper alternative to gold.

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Composite Silver Inflation Adjusted Spot Price - (Bloomberg)

While silver is volatile it is important to remember that it is less volatile than many stocks and even less volatile than some stock market indices. 

Silver's advantage in these uncertain monetary and systemic times is that it is no one else's liability and hence it cannot go bankrupt - unlike every corporation, bank and government in the world.

Silver will always have a value on a chart and will not go to zero or disappear.

Hence, the importance of owning silver as part of a diversified precious metal holdings and part of an overall diversified investment and savings portfolio.