London still at top for metal trade

LONDON led the way last year as the top exchange centre for trading of non-ferrous metals, with a 90 per cent share of the record 120.3m contracts turned over.

Overall, exchange trading of commodities such as gold and silver surged by 20 per cent in 2010 as their popularity as well as the ease of investing in them increased, according to data from financial membership body TheCityUK.

In total commodity assets under management have now nearly doubled to $380bn (£235.1bn) at the end of the year, with the bulk invested in energy and precious metals.

The value of global gold turnover increased by a quarter in 2010 to a record $25.1 trillion, while silver trading increased by 57 per cent to a record $3.2 trillion, as fears over the strength of the economic recovery saw a surge of interest in the perceived safe-haven appeal of precious metals. Daily reported net trading in gold on the London Bullion Market Association averaged $22.5bn in 2010, up 12 per cent on 2009.