Gold News

Gold Price Drops Near 6-Week Low, Defies Analysts as Ukraine Ceasefire Fails with Greek Bail-Out Talks

GOLD PRICES fell hard Tuesday lunchtime in London, dropping near 6-week lows at $1213 per ounce as the Euro currency rose after the breakdown of Greek bail-out talks, and reports spread that the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has failed to hold, with pro-Russian separatists seizing the town of Debaltseve.
Silver fell harder again, extending its slide to 5% from Friday's finish as it traded below $16.40 per ounce.
With the return of US traders after the President's Day holiday, the gold market lost wholesale Chinese demand Tuesday, with trading volume in Shanghai's key contract near multi-year lows as the world's No.2 consumer nation prepares for the Lunar New Year holidays starting Thursday.
New data meantime showed UK inflation on the Consumer Price Index falling to what the BBC calls "a record low" of 0.3% per year in January.
But with fuel & food items stripped out, noted former Bank of England member Andrew Sentance, core inflation remains above its pre-financial crisis average.
Brent crude oil today crept higher above $62 per barrel, gaining some 25% from last month's new 5-year lows.
"There looks to be some weakness in the precious metals," says one Asian trading desk, "with no real demand stemming from news of the Greek discussions or from reports of
fresh violence out of Ukraine."
"The impasse over Greece/Eurozone ministers discussion on 'bailout terms'," reckons a note from Germany's Commerzbank, should "be a supportive story for gold in the short run.
"[But] evidently, the overwhelming majority of market participants still anticipate a last-minute solution to the Greek debt dispute."
"The US holiday yesterday and a lack of Chinese interest," says Leon Westgate at Standard Bank in London, "probably helped keep the gold price in check, even with a ratcheting up in tensions in Ukraine.
"The breakdown in talks between Greece and the EU has had a surprisingly limited impact on gold prices."
One week today, Athens is due to pay almost €600m in debt interest and maturing bonds, with a further €6 billion falling due over the following month according to a note from Deutsche Bank.
Next week's Indian government budget also means wholesale demand from the No.1 consumer nation is weak, says Standard Bank's trading desk. Because dealers expecting a widely-discussed cut to the country's 10% import duty do not want to be caught with stockpiles carrying the higher tariff.

Adrian Ash

Adrian Ash, BullionVault Gold News

Adrian Ash is director of research at BullionVault, the world-leading physical gold, silver and platinum 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 he has now been researching and writing daily analysis of precious metals and the wider financial markets for over 20 years. A frequent guest on BBC radio and television, Adrian is regularly quoted by the Financial Times, MarketWatch and many other respected news outlets, and his views from inside the bullion market have been sought by the Economist magazine, CNBC, Bloomberg, Germany's Handelsblatt and FAZ, plus Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews.

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