Bloomberg News

Gold Rises as Stalled Greek-Debt Plan Renews Demand for a Haven

June 20, 2011

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Gold rose for the fifth straight session as negotiations for a Greek bailout stalled, boosting the appeal of the precious metal as an investment haven.

Equity markets fell in Europe after the continent’s finance leaders said further aid to Greece is dependent on the country enacting austerity measures including asset sales and budget cuts. Gold priced in British pounds reached a record.

“There’s a lot of nervous trades over the Greek debt situation,” said Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. “Investors are seeking stability and safety. Gold is the international currency.”

Gold futures for August delivery rose $2.90, or 0.2 percent, to settle at $1,542 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price climbed 0.6 percent last week.

The precious metal touched a record $1,577.40 on May 2 as escalating sovereign-debt woes and record-low U.S. borrowing costs increased the appeal of bullion as an alternative to currencies. Gold denominated in euros reached an all-time high on May 25.

“Gold is the most comfortable trade to be in,” said Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago. “Gold will replace the dollar as the flight-to-safety instrument until the U.S. can get their house in order.”

The metal has gained 24 percent in the past year as the dollar slumped.

Gold’s gains were limited after the euro and European equities pared earlier losses. Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean- Claude Juncker said his Greek counterpart George Papandreou assured him the government would do everything to ensure financial aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Silver, Platinum

Silver futures for July delivery rose 32.3 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $36.071 an ounce on the Comex. The metal fell 1.6 percent last week.

Platinum futures for July delivery fell $21.60, or 1.2 percent, to $1,730.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Palladium futures for September delivery rose $2.80, or 0.4 percent, to $748.20 an ounce on the Nymex.

--Editor: Steve Stroth

To contact the reporter on this story: Pham-Duy Nguyen in Seattle at pnguyen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.


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