Gold rallies for third day aided by euro

LONDON - Gold rallied for a third day on Monday as the euro benefitted from Ireland’s rescue deal at the expense of the US dollar, which broadly boosted investor appetite for commodities.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Mon 22 Nov 2010, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:33 AM

European and IMF officials will begin working on the details of a three-year bailout package for Ireland — expected to total 80-90 billion euros ($109.4-$123.1 billion) --- to tackle its banking and budget crisis.

The move, which officials hope will help stabilise financial markets, boosted the euro, along with European equities. While such reassurances undercut some of gold’s safe-haven appeal, the subsequent decline of the dollar fed demand for the metal.

Holdings of gold in the world’s largest exchange-traded fund rose for the first time in two weeks indicating investors are delving back into precious metals.

Spot gold rose 0.5 percent to $1,360.55 an ounce by 1013 GMT, still over 4 percent below early November’s record high at $1,424.10 an ounce, but above last week’s two-week trough. US gold futures for December delivery rose $8.0 to $1,360.30.

“Safe-haven demand might be falling, but of course, this strengthening of the euro against the U.S. dollar ... is probably more important for the gold market,” said Peter Fertig, consultant at Quantitative Commodity Research.

China in focus

A stronger euro helped offset worries about China’s move to tighten the economy. The People’s Bank of China announced on Friday it would increase required reserves by 50 basis points, its fifth such announcement this year, in a fresh attempt to keep a lid on inflation.

China’s steps to rein in inflation could dim gold’s appeal in the world’s second-largest consumer after India, but dealers said a drop in bullion prices from all-time high levels were attracting purchases from other consumers in Asia.

“Asian people are still happy to buy gold. For the time being, gold is neutral, trading on either side,” said Ronald Leung, director of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong, adding that gold could fall if China did raise interest rates.

Gold prices fell by nearly 1 percent last week as the certainty of a bailout for Ireland grew and rising U.S. Treasury yields and stronger data supported the dollar .

“Since investment demand continues to be strong and US bond yields remain at a very low level, we would argue that prices have further upside,” said Credit Suisse analysts in a note.

“However, the uptrend is likely to be less steady in the future as sentiment looks shaky,” they said. Reflecting the concern among some investors about the rise in the gold price against a backdrop of an improving global economy, HSBC Global Asset Management said late last week it had cut its gold allocation in its Absolute Return Fund in half. “We have ... taken the prudent course of action and halved our position in gold bullion to 6 percent to reflect the fact that we remain bullish over the long term but acknowledge that gold has run ahead of itself at a time when the diversification benefits have become less obvious,” wrote fund manager Charlie Morris in a note to clients.

Silver rose by more than 1 percent, rallying for a fourth successive day, after holdings of metal in the world’s largest silver-backed ETF hit another record high.

Spot silver was last up at $27.50 an ounce, from $27.21 in late trade in New York on Friday, having risen by nearly 10 percent in the last five trading days.

Platinum was last up 0.1 percent on the day at $1,664.80 an ounce, while sister metal palladium was up 1.6 percent at $709.47 an ounce, set for a fourth consecutive day of increases.

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