What Is the London Spot Fix?

The London spot fix is a daily price per ounce for each of the precious metals (gold, silver, platinum and palladium) determined by a brief conference call among the five members of the London Gold Pool. Historically, the 5 member banks were as follows: Scotia-Mocatta, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Société Générale. Changes from this membership can vary from time to time. The London spot fix price is the price fixed at the moment when the conference call terminates.

London spot fix is also referred to as "London a.m. fix" and "London p.m. fix," or "London morning fix" and "London afternoon fix."

How the London Spot Fix Works

Members of the London Gold Pool belong to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and are the five largest players in the gold bullion market. The LBMA provides the daily spot fix prices on its website in U.S. dollars, British pounds and euros. The price does not remain fixed throughout the morning and throughout the afternoon, however, and begins to vary immediately after the spot fix.

Because other derivatives and products are priced in terms of gold, the London spot fix remains an important aspect of daily trading. Additionally, many mining and refiners will use the gold spot set to price purchases and receipts.

The LBMA Gold price is set twice daily at 10:30 and 15:00 GMT. The price for Silver is set at 12:00 GMT daily. Platinum and Palladium prices are fixed twice daily at 09:45 and 14:00 GMT.

The orders passed to the five banks are limit orders, meaning the customer has stipulated an at-worst price that which they would like to buy or sell. This means if the price of gold opens higher than a customers limit buy order it will not be executed upon open.