Gold dips to 4-month low on Greece uncertainty

Gold dropped to a four-month low on Wednesday, pressured by a weaker euro as investors fretted about the political upheaval in Greece that threatens to sink the country into chaos and endanger the euro zone’s efforts to end the debt crisis.

By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 9 May 2012, 4:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:25 AM

Spot gold dropped to as low as $1,586.74 an ounce, unseen since early January, extending a 2-percent slide from the previous session. It stood at $1,593.56 by 0557 GMT.

U.S. gold also dropped to a four-month low at $1,587.40.

The Leftist candidate for prime minister in Greece has so far failed to form a government, as his opposition to a bailout deal seen crucial for the economy alienated mainstream parties and shook market confidence that the euro zone will pull itself out of the debt crisis.

Nervous investors sought out safe haven assets such as the dollar and German Bund, while gold remained lock-stepped with the euro and riskier assets.

The euro was headed for its eighth straight session of losses against the dollar and fell close to a recent three-month low.

“The situation in Europe is difficult, but what’s happening is that anything that’s slightly tainted with risk is being sold, even though the real risk associated with that product is less than one could justify by its price movements,” said Nick Trevethan, senior metals strategist at ANZ in Singapore.

Analysts expected the next level of support for gold to be $1,580 after it broke through $1,620, the lower end of the price range it held for a month, and the psychologically important $1,600 level in one day.

Dealers spotted a pickup in physical buying in the Asian market, as market participants sought to take advantage of the sharp slide in prices after weeks of largely rangebound prices.

“There is a lot of buying on the physical side despite the fact that prices are still sliding, as people are comfortable buying at prices below $1,600,” said a Singapore-based dealer.

Gold-silver ratio at near 4-month high

Spot silver broke below $29 an ounce for the first time in nearly four months, and recovered slightly to $29.

“Watch out for silver prices to go even lower,” said Trevethan of ANZ. “With base metals under pressure, oil prices falling and broad weakness in most markets, there is scope for silver to fall further especially given its volatility.”

The gold-silver ratio, used to measure how many ounces of silver is needed to buy an ounce of gold, rose to 54.85, its highest level since the middle of January.

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