In the past couple of days precious metals prices have risen sharply with investors seeking a safe haven amidst the uncertainty of the new bank bailout plan. Gold rose 2.4% on February 10, while silver rose 2.4% and platinum rose 3.9%.
Platinum carries a special prestige in Japan where approximately half of all platinum jewellery is sold. Japanese bullion dealers have this week sold out their stocks of platinum coins and bars as investors rushed to seek a safe haven in metals. The Japanese public is losing faith in the Japanese government's ability to deal with the financial crisis. The Japanese stock market has continued its downward trend since the start of the New Year.
Japan is typically a conservative nation of savers who largely hold cash. But last year gold bullion sales were up 61% from the previous year.
I visited Ishifuku Metals in Osaka last week to make a purchase of silver and the room was buzzing with activity. People in Japan are starting to catch up with the rest of the world in realizing that the economic crisis is not going away anytime soon.