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Gold Rallies as Greeks Lose Sovereignty for Eurozone Expertise

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2011 Jul 04, 2011 - 08:04 AM GMT

By: Ben_Traynor

Commodities THE WHOLESALE market price of gold bullion rose to just under $1497 per ounce Monday morning in London – 0.7% up on last week's close – before easing back around lunchtime.

Stock markets gained and commodities were mixed after news that a plan to roll over Greek sovereign debt could be declared a default.

Silver prices meantime rose to $34.22 per ounce – 1% up from where they ended last week.

"Precious metals have been trading as a safe haven asset rather than a commodity," notes one Hong Kong bullion dealer, adding that there was a "decent amount" of physical gold bullion bought during Monday's Asian trading.

"Seasonal trends tend to be positive in the third quarter for gold," adds Stefan Graber, analyst at Credit Suisse.

"This current dip offers entry opportunities for gold."

"Market players are using the opportunity to get gold at a cheap price after the sharp fall last Friday," agrees Daniel Briesemann, analyst at Commerzbank.

"The debt crisis in Greece has eased somewhat...[but] the problem is still there, the EU and Greece have only gained some time."

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has said it could place Greek debt in "selective default" if French proposals to roll over Greek debt are put into practice. 

Under the proposals – outlined in a memo last month from the Fédération Bancaire Française – holders of Greek bonds would have two options. The first would see them receive 30% of their money, with 50% of what they are owned going into 30-year Greek bonds and 20% into zero coupon bonds held in a special purpose vehicle.

The second option is simply to roll over at least 90% of owed funds into new 5-year bonds.
"It is our view that each of the two financing options...would likely amount to a default," said a statement from S&P on Monday.

Over the weekend the European Union approved the release of €12 billion to Greece as part of last year's bailout, due to be paid later this month.

Greek sovereignty will be "massively limited" said chairman of the Eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, after the payment was approved.

"One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the Eurozone."

Renewed concern over the Eurozone's debt problems could see gold bullion prices "perform particularly well" reckons Standard Bank commodities strategist Marc Ground.

However, exchange traded products linked to commodities saw record outflows in May, with investors withdrawing $3.8 billion, research by Barclays Capital shows.

Silver ETPs saw the largest outflows, with investors withdrawing $1.7 billion. The silver price set at the daily London Fix dropped 21% over the course of May.

Gold ETPs, meantime, saw outflows of $0.9 billion over the same month. At the end of May, the gold price on the London Fix was only a Dollar above where it had ended the previous month.

Meantime in Delhi, Indian press reports that the country could see oil supplies from Iran halted if it fails to make overdue payments, according to press reports over the weekend. US sanctions against Iran have made paying for oil imports difficult.

Iran refuses to be paid in Rupees, leading to speculation in the Iranian media that India might make the payments in gold bullion.

By Ben Traynor

Gold price chart, no delay   |   Buy gold online at live prices

Editor of Gold News, the analysis and investment research site from world-leading gold ownership service BullionVault, Ben Traynor was formerly editor of the Fleet Street Letter, the UK's longest-running investment letter. A Cambridge economics graduate, he is a professional writer and editor with a specialist interest in monetary economics.

(c) BullionVault 2011

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