Gold News

Gold Bullion Trading 'Hit by Greek Crisis' as Chinese Demand Weakens, 'Price Floor Drops'

GOLD BULLION prices held dead-flat overall in London trade yet again on Tuesday, ending the day at $1181 per ounce but ticking higher for non-Dollar investors as the Euro slipped amid fresh wrangling continued between Athens and Brussels over Greece's 5-year old debt crisis.
 
Having accused Greek prime minister Tsipras of lying last week about the current negotiations, "The debate in Greece...would be easier if the Greek government would [say] what the Commission is really proposing," said European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
 
With French president Hollande repeating the creditors' phrase that " The ball is in Greece's court" on Tuesday, Athens' finance minister Vaourfakis said overnight that he won't make any new proposals at a meeting with Eurozone peers on Thursday.
 
"These days I devote myself," said German chancellor Merkel meantime, "to the task of keeping Greece in the Eurozone."
 
The European Court of Justice today found that the ECB's outright monetary transactions – the precursor to this year's QE bond buying, announced in 2012 – is indeed "compatible" with European law and treaties over financing government deficits.
 
Greek bond yields jumped to 11-week highs, up 0.75 percentage points on the day, as Athens' stock market fell 5% for a second day running.
 
"The threat of national bankruptcy in Greece still appears to be leaving the gold market largely cold," says a note from commodity analysts at Commerzbank in Germany.
 
"The Greek Tragedy is taking its toll on gold trading," counters one London bullion desk. "Traders are staying away from precious metals in a broad risk-off mood."
 
Trade body the London Bullion Market Association said Tuesday that China's state-owned Bank of China has become the 8th direct participant in the daily benchmark pricing process, formerly known as the 'London Fix'.
 
The first bank to join the LBMA Gold Price auction from China – world No.1 gold miner, importer and consumer nation – Bank of China was a founder member of the Association in  1987, and has been active in the world's central wholesale bullion market for 40 years.
 
Noting "the weakness of Chinese gold demand so far this year," analysts at investment and bullion bank J.P.Morgan say that 2015's "increased price sensitivity likely means the floor has shifted lower" thanks to Asian buyers wanting lower gold prices.
 
"We now believe this level has slid...closer to the $1130 to $1150 per ounce range."
 
Gold bullion imports to former world No.1 consumer nation India grew 10% by value in May from a year earlier, New Delhi meantime said today, but failed to raise the country's Current Account Deficit with the rest of the world.
 
India's yawning CAD was blamed in 2013 for the Rupee's fall to record lows on the FX market, leading the then-Congress Party administration to impose an effective ban on new imports of bullion.
 
Despite easier rules under the BJP government led by Narendra Modi since spring 2014, Indian customs officials this week said seizures of smuggled gold have jump 5-fold during the last year.

Adrian Ash is director of research at BullionVault, the physical gold and silver market for private investors online. Formerly head of editorial at London's top publisher of private-investment advice, he was City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning from 2003 to 2008, and is now a regular contributor to many leading analysis sites including Forbes and a regular guest on BBC national and international radio and television news. Adrian's views on the gold market have been sought by the Financial Times and Economist magazine in London; CNBC, Bloomberg and TheStreet.com in New York; Germany's Der Stern; Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore, and many other respected finance publications.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews.

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