Beware fool’s gold

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One of the clear trends in finance during the past two years is the effort by a number of banks to build out their commodities businesses. The latest major financial institution to unveil its plans in this area is HSBC, which has signed a deal with France’s Total Oil Trading, to co-operate in offering energy risk management services to its clients. The deal supplements HSBC’s existing strong precious metals offering in Asia, particularly in gold.

HSBC’s move follows a major commodities commitmen