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Fear of regulation causes big swings in London's silver benchmark

Thursday, April 27th

London's silver price benchmark is plagued by big, unpredictable fluctuations that risk undermining its credibility and may complicate efforts by the London Bullion Market Association to find a new operator, according to a Reuters analysis of trading data and 10 industry sources.

The benchmark is used by silver producers and consumers around the world, including jewelers and electronics firms, to price their contracts in the multi-billion-dollar a day trade.

The figure generated at noon London time is intended to be a fair and accurate daily snapshot of the wider, fast-moving "spot" market. However, it has diverged widely from the spot price on a number of occasions since at least January 2016, leaving buyers and sellers with unexpected gains or losses, according to the Reuters analysis using Thomson Reuters data.   

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