Price Of Gold Remains Flat, Greek Debt Restructuring “Not An Option”
The wholesale price to buy gold continued trading in a tight range Tuesday morning around $1538 per ounce – just over 2% off its all-time high – following a flat day Monday as the US and UK had official holidays.
Stock and commodity markets meantime rose sharply – while US Treasury bonds fell – after news of a possible Eurozone agreement on a new financial aid package for Greece.
Silver prices gained 1.7% before settling into a range just below $39 per ounce, still 20% of the peak seen at the start of the month.
"Although there seems to be sporadic scrap-selling of gold, physical market buying interest has been strong so far this week, and we expect this trend to remain in place," says Walter de Wet, precious metals strategist at Standard Bank.
Asian precious metals trade saw a "quiet market" on Tuesday, according to one Hong Kong-based bullion dealer.
"It's a very quiet start," agreed a Singapore dealer, speaking to Reuters. "But we saw two-way business [on Monday]. Thailand and Indonesia were sellers [of gold], while the Indians were the buyers. We also saw speculators buying silver."
The Euro price to buy gold hit a one-week low of €34,261 per kilogram (€1066 per ounce) on Tuesday morning, as the single currency continued the climb away from $1.40 started last Wednesday, reaching $1.44 by lunchtime in London.
"The total restructuring of the Greek debt is not an option and isn't envisaged by anyone," Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurozone finance ministers, told reporters in Paris on Monday.
"There is no difference between soft restructuring and restructuring," ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi told the Financial Times in an interview on Friday. "There is no such thing as an 'orderly' debt restructuring in current circumstances."
In Athens the Greek press reported Tuesday morning that the country's government has agreed a deal with its troika of creditors – the ECB, the International Monetary Fund and the EU – to borrow a further €60 billion to enable it to service its debt through 2012.
"Given the current state of political and economic affairs in Europe, is there any reason to believe that at the margin – and perhaps at the very center – money shall do anything other than to leave the Euro and to gravitate toward gold?" asked renowned investor Dennis Gartman on Monday.
Gartman last week described gold as the "trump card" currency.
The troika last year agreed to lend Greece €110 billion. Juncker warned last week that the IMF may have to withhold its portion of the next tranche of the bailout – due before July and worth a total of €12 billion – due to IMF rules which prevent loans to governments that cannot guarantee their solvency for at least 12 months.
Financial Times Deutschland reported on Tuesday that Germany, the Netherlands and other countries were still pushing for restructuring, asking private creditors to extend maturities on Greek debt.
However, a Wall Street Journal story claimed that Germany had dropped restructuring as a condition of any new loans to Greece.
"These are just temporary solutions," says Andrew Pease, senior investment strategist Asia Pacific at Russell Investment Group. "Talk of additional aid for Greece has given investors some relief for now...[but] that's not a sustainable solution."
"The European problem is way beyond Greece," adds BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink, speaking to Bloomberg Television on Tuesday.
Away from Greece, the ECB on Friday raised the amount by which it discounts the face value – otherwise known as the 'haircut' – on Portuguese bonds offered as collateral, from 5.5% to 10.5%.
Source: Bullion Vault
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