Gold rebounds from low as dollar weakens

Gold bars. (Reuters)
Updated 18 January 2018
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Gold rebounds from low as dollar weakens

LONDON: Gold edged higher on Thursday after hitting its lowest in nearly a week as the dollar weakened, but analysts said bullion was vulnerable to more losses.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,330.71 per ounce by 1500 GMT. Earlier in the session, it touched its lowest since Jan. 12 at $1,323.70.
US gold futures for February delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $1,331 per ounce. In the previous session, spot gold fell 0.8 percent, posting its worst one-day percentage decline since Dec. 7 as the dollar bounced from three-year lows.
“Gold continues to trade in lock-step with the US dollar,” said Carsten Menke, analyst at Julius Baer in Zurich. “We think the dollar has fallen too much. We see more upside for the dollar heading into the second quarter so that means that gold should move back below $1,300 and toward $1,250 by mid-year.”
The dollar index reversed direction and went into the red as global investors sought to diversify their dollar holdings into other currencies such as the euro. Spot gold is expected to fall to $1,311 per ounce, as it has broken a support at $1,329, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Some analysts said a correction in digital currencies could support gold. “Brokers in Europe report investors have increasingly been asking about switching from cryptocurrencies into gold,” ANZ analysts said in a research note.
Bitcoin fell as much as 20 percent on Wednesday, dropping below $10,000 due to investor fears that regulators could clamp down.
In other precious metals, silver gained 0.6 percent to $17.11 per ounce and palladium shed 0.9 percent to $1,104.72 per ounce. Platinum added 1 percent to $1,006.60 per ounce, after touching its highest since Sept. 8 at $1,007.60 in the previous session.
Over the past 15 years, platinum has largely moved higher in January and February due to seasonally weaker supply from top producer South Africa, Menke said. “This seasonal rebound is playing out. And there is also some more room from short covering from the futures market.”


Meet the Dubai ad men who pay you to sit in traffic

Updated 20 August 2018
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Meet the Dubai ad men who pay you to sit in traffic

  • Blockchain technology challenges traditional outdoor media
  • Adverts connect to driver mobile phone

LONDON: A new startup founded by UAE-based entrepreneurs is in the process of test-running a blockchain-based technology that could help people turn their cars into mobile advertising vehicles.
It could challenge the use of traditional advertising methods such as outdoor billboards, the founders of The Elo Network claim.
The platform — which has been set up by Mohammed Khammas and Mohammed Bafaqih and incorporated in the Cayman Islands — will enable people to be paid for displaying adverts on the side or back of their vehicles while they go about their daily routines of driving to work, the mall or doing the school run.
The adverts will feature low-frequency bluetooth ‘beacons’ that connect to the drivers' mobile phone which will be able to monitor when the driver is in the car and where the car is being driven.
There is a minimum threshold for the number of miles being driven a day, but the main prerequisite is that the driver is in the car. Drivers will still be paid even if stuck in a traffic jam.
Advertising clients will be able to put out requests that drivers head to a particular area — for instance to be close to a new brand launch — with drivers being paid up to 4 or 5 times more than their standard rate if they accept.
While the concept of paying people to use their cars for advertising is not new, it is the use of blockchain technology that will make The Elo Network particularly grounding-breaking in the advertising world, its founders said.
“Billboards are very expensive and static and don’t give you the KPIs and insightful information that brands want these days. You solve that by getting them that data,” Bafaqih said.
The Elo Network collates detailed data by tracking the movements of the drivers and their day-to-day activities. Data points such as a particular area’s population density can been collected.
The information will be encrypted ensuring that the brand will never know the identity of the driver, said Bafaqih.
“It creates data sets that didn’t exist before. You don’t have to worry about privacy but at the same time the brand can know about your patterns. They can know where you go in mornings, where you drive, what normal patterns are created in certain areas and countries,” he said.
This level of detail is increasingly important for brands looking to run targeted campaigns, and it is something that traditional billboards are unable to offer.
The technology will also be used to overcome the payment problems that other similar car advertising schemes have faced.
“Historically what happens, where there is a authority that is issuing payments, it causes a lot of problems. There can be disputes on how much they (the drivers) are owed or how many miles were driven or what campaign someone has done,” he said.
Under the Elo Network program, the blockchain technology allows you to create so-called “Smart Contracts” — which is a software protocol that enforces and verifies the performance of a contract.
“It says driver A is going to be paid — for example — a dollar per mile — so as the person drives he starts receives ‘IOUs’. Those IOUs are convertible at any time,” he said.
With no ‘middle man’ involved, the driver is able to redeem their IOUs and get paid as and when they want.
The network is currently at ‘proof of concept’ stage and is test-running the platform with a number of brands. It is anticipated that the network will be rolled out to the public toward the end of this year and early 2019.