Prices Take Wing

  • David Humphreys


The five-minute ‘ring’ starts slowly, with the dealers slouched on their red leather benches in a circle under the bright lights. Periodically, one of them proffers a trade with an air of studied indifference. This continues for four minutes. In the last minute of the ring, the pace begins to quicken. The bids and offers flow more freely. The air of indifference evaporates. Dealers become more animated. Outside the ring, telephones clamped to their ears, traders signal to their colleagues in the ring the buy and sell orders coming down the line from clients. The last seconds of the ring are a complete frenzy, the dealers straining forward on their benches shouting and gesticulating. Then, as quickly as it arose, the storm abates. The bell sounds and the shouting ceases. The dealers leave the ring and calm prevails. The price of metal for the next trading period has been set.


Mining Industry Hedge Fund Commodity Price Spot Market Spot Prex 
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  1. 1.
    For a fuller discussion on these issues, see D. Humphreys (2011) ‘Pricing and Trading in Metals and Minerals’ in P. Darling (ed.) SME Mining Engineering Handbook, 3rd edn. (Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    This and the following paragraphs draw heavily on D. Humphreys (2010) ‘The Great Metals Boom: A Retrospective’, Resources Policy, 35, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    These matters are discussed in detail in J.E. Tilton, D. Humphreys and M. Radetzki (2011) ‘Investor Demand and Spot Commodity Prices’, Resources Policy, 36, 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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© David Humphreys 2015

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  • David Humphreys

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