Alternative Investment News Round-up: Friday 18th December

Gold plunges to six-year low

Gold has plunged to a six-year low following the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise US interest rates.

The landmark move from the Federal Reserve was decided at a meeting on Wednesday 16th December, raising the benchmark rate by 25 basis points for the first time since the financial crisis. The pace, though, is set to remain “gradual”, with a projected growth rate of just 1.38 per cent in 2016.

The announcement was expected to hit the precious metals sector hard, as the US economy – and, more specifically, the US dollar – move in opposition to the alternative assets.

After a brief period of growth, the precious metal plunged to a six-year low of $1,049 an ounce. The US dollar, meanwhile, enjoyed a strong rise of 1 per cent, as markets welcomed the Fed’s decision.

“This is a very dovish rate increase,” Stephen Wood, chief market strategist for North America at Russell Investments in New York, told Bloomberg. “It came right in in line with expectations and markets appear to like that. It’s the Fed giving its seal of approval on the economy and financial conditions, but also the Fed didn’t surprise with a more aggressive future path.”

Over 5,000 acres of farmland up for auction in Nebraska and Kansas

Approximately 5,105 acres of Nebraska and Kansas farmland will be offered at auction on Friday 29th January 2016.

Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company will market the land and conduct the auction, in cooperation with Cushman & Wakefield and Lund Company. The event will include land in Nebraska’s Webster and Franklin counties, as well as in Jewell County, Kansas.

“This land, which has been owned by a trust, will be of interest to operators, individual investors, and investment funds,” said Roger Diehm, executive vice president of the auction company.

FINMA bans traders for misconduct

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has banned six traders and managers for misconduct in both the FOREX and precious metals sectors.

The former heads of foreign exchange trading at UBS have been banned for holding senior management roles at firms supervised by FINMA for up to five years, following an investigation that uncovered “suspicious chat group conversations” between traders at different banks. FINMA ruled that the people in question individually responsible for the breaches of trading regulations.

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Photo: Epicharmus