Bloomberg News

Gold Caps Weekly Loss as Greek Concern Lowers Demand Prospects

February 12, 2012

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Gold fell, capping the first weekly loss this year, after European finance ministers held back on approving a rescue package for Greece, curbing prospects for global growth and commodity demand.

The dollar jumped as much as 0.8 percent against a basket of currencies after a leader of Greece’s governing coalition pushed back against German demands for deeper budget cuts to get the bailout needed to prevent a financial collapse. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell as much 1.5 percent. Gold has climbed 27 percent in the past year.

“Any negative news out of Europe will be met with concern, especially after gold and commodities had a decent run in 2012,” Scott Gardner, the chief investment officer at Verdmont Capital SA in Panama, said in an e-mail.

Gold futures for April delivery dropped 0.9 percent to settle $1,725.30 an ounce at 1:46 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices dropped 0.9 percent this week, the first such loss since Dec. 30.

If prices fall below $1,715, “we should see a bit of bargain-hunting coming in,” Afshin Nabavi, a senior vice president at bullion refiner MKS Finance SA in Geneva, said today by telephone.

CME Group Inc. yesterday cut the minimum cash deposit for gold futures by 12 percent to $10,125 per contract, effective after the close of business on Feb. 13. The maintenance margin will be lowered to $7,500 from $8,500.

“In the context of a Greece deal not getting done, people are moving back into cash, so CME lowering margins was not much of a support for prices,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 0.9 percent to $33.604 an ounce, capping a second straight weekly drop.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery declined 0.5 percent to $1,659.80 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery retreated 1.2 percent to $703.05 an ounce, the biggest loss since Jan. 24.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Thomas Galatola

To contact the reporter for this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net; Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

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


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