Gold surged above $1,200 an ounce Monday in its best day since January, amid market intrigue surrounding a deal between Venezuela and Citigroup to swap $1 billion in cash for part of the country’s gold reserves.
The swap, reported last week, provides cash to President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government as the country reels from a steep drop in oil revenue. Reuters reported Friday that the Venezuelan central bank was expected to have provided 1.4 million ounces of gold in exchange for the cash, and the country would have to pay interest on the funds.
“He had to pawn their gold. That’s what they’ve done. They can buy it back. They have rights of first refusal,” said Dennis Gartman, publisher of The Gartman Letter. “They went to the biggest pawnbroker of gold—Citibank.”