The anticipated rush to buy gold by United States' residents -- now a legal transaction for the first time in 42 years -- has so far failed to take place.
CU Package containing one ounce of gold
SV Perera shop selling gold (2 shots)
SV&CU Gold coins, etc in glass case (3 shots)
CU Price board
SV People waiting outside Hess stores in Pennsylvania (2 shots)
SV People swarming into store (3 shots)
SV&CU's People buying gold (5 shots)
SV People entering store
CU Customer examining gold bar and returning it ZOOM OUT (2 shots)
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Background: The anticipated rush to buy gold by United States' residents -- now a legal transaction for the first time in 42 years -- has so far failed to take place.
Retailers, who had braced themselves -- and lavishly stocked their outlets -- for a New Year's stampede, have instead encountered a trickle. The most significant result has been a continuing slump in the price of gold in the international marketplaces.
In London, the world's centre of gold trading, the price has plummeted 23.5 dollars an ounce from its record level of 198 dollars an ounce reached last Monday (30 December), on the eve of the expected U.S. buying spree. In turn, this drop in the international price is further discouraging private buying by potential purchasers in the United States.
Earlier, world prices had climbed dramatically since 14 December, when the United States' Government announced it was legalising the private ownership of gold from the start of the New Year -- ending a ban imposed in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
One of the few notable exceptions to gold's generally lacklustre performance in the United States occurred on Thursday (2 January) in Allentown, Pennsylvania. There, a large department store offered an ounce each to its first 50 customers at 20 per cent below that day's London price -- creating a virtual stampede.
But in such smart New York shops as Perera of Fifth Avenue -- which laid in a supply of collectors' gold coins and ounce-filled plastic bags -- the going was slow from the start ... and remains so.
United States' retailers -- who speculated that private citizens would seize on gold as a hedge against inflation -- now blame inflation itself, with its accompanying economic recession, for the public's lack of interest.