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Gold Hits Near-Record Euro Highs as Markets Jump on ECB Anticipation

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2012 Sep 06, 2012 - 06:54 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe WHOLESALE gold price reached new 6-month highs in Asian and London trade Thursday morning at $1713 per ounce, rising alongside most other financial assets as traders awaited the European Central Bank's latest policy decision – widely expected to unveil a quantitative easing-style program of buying weaker government bonds.

After a Bloomberg leak claimed Wednesday that the ECB will begin "Monetary Outright Transactions" – buying Italian and Spanish debt to reduce their borrowing costs – the published announcement simply kept Eurozone interest rates unchanged.


But traders awaited the crucial post-meeting press conference, however, where ECB president Mario Draghi will speak at 12:30 GMT.

"I think the ECB will start buying bonds mainly because there is no other short-term solution available to Europe to support growth," said Tom Price of Swiss bullion bank UBS to India's CNBC-TV18 this morning.

"This will mean support for mainly gold and copper in the metals market, and perhaps even oil."

"The rally in gold," says today's note from Standard Bank in London, "is in our mind a combination of short-covering and new longs being added" – with bearish traders being forced to quit their positions as the gold price rises.

"We continue to look for further upside in the metal towards year-end. Our target price is still $1900 in Q3."

Frankfurt's Dax index of German shares meantime extended its rise above 7,000 – recovering all of the 14% drop between April and May.

The gold price in Euros hits its second-highest ever London Gold Fix, clearing in the wholesale bullion market above €1355 per ounce at 10:30am.

Silver briefly topped $33 per ounce, its best level since early April and 7.1% higher from this time last week.

The British Pound held dead flat all morning, trading just above $1.59 as the Bank of England pegged its key lending rate at 0.5% for the 42nd month running.

The UK central bank also maintained it current "quantitative easing" target of £375 billion in government-bond purchases.

Gold priced in Sterling has risen by 130% since the scheme began in March 2009.

"The [precious metals] market is optimistic about the ECB's plan to rescue the region," Bloomberg News quote Wang Xiaoli, chief investment strategist at Chinese brokerage CITICS Futures Co.

"The gold price is getting a lift from the strength in the Euro."

Both Italy and France today sold new government debt at much lower interest rates than at the last time of asking.

German factory orders meantime rose 0.5%, new data said, after dropping 1.6% in July.

Greece's unemployment rate, however, jumped a whole percentage point in August from July, reaching a fresh record of 24.4%.

"The liquidity provision by [European] central banks can only provide a temporary reprieve," said Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa in a speech about the challenges facing the Japanese economy given in Tokyo today.

"First, economies with fiscal problems must proceed with drastic fiscal reforms as well as economic structural reforms...Second, Europe as a whole must set out clearly the future of economic integration and reconstruct a sustainable single currency zone."

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

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

Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2012

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.


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