Gold hits near one-month high on Cyprus debt fears

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Gold rose to a near one-month high on Thursday, as safe-haven buying emerged after the European Union gave Cyprus an ultimatum to raise billions of euros it needs to clinch a bailout deal or face a likely exit from the currency zone.

Gold rose to a near one-month high on Thursday, as safe-haven buying emerged after the European Union gave Cyprus an ultimatum to raise billions of euros it needs to clinch a bailout deal or face a likely exit from the currency zone.

The metal has risen in five of six sessions on resurgent fears about euro zone debt fears, and on hopes that the US Federal Reserve will maintain aggressive stimulus to battle still-high unemployment.

Silver also rose 1.5 percent, on track for its biggest one-day gain in almost two months.

The European Central Bank said it would cut off liquidity to Cypriot banks and a senior EU official said the bloc was ready to see the bankrupt island banished from the euro zone. Earlier this week, global markets slid as Cypriot lawmakers rejected a plan to tax bank deposits to repay debt.

“The Cyprus situation has ignited purchasing of gold from the public who are now becoming concerned that the same can happen where they live,” said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president at online precious metals exchange BullionVault.

Spot gold rose to USD 1,616.36 an ounce, its highest since February 26. It was later up 0.4 percent at USD 1,612.86 by 12:46 p.m. EST ( 1646 GMT)

For the week, gold is set for a gain of 1.4 percent, which would be its biggest one-week rise since November.

Technical analysts said gold looked set for more gains after it broke above USD 1,613, a downward trendline resistance on daily charts

US gold futures for April delivery gained USD 4.60 to USD 1,612.10, with trading volume on track to finish below its 150-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.

Safe-haven bids were evident as US equities fell while investors kept an eye on events in Cyprus. Wall Street declined as weak technology stocks overshadowed a batch of data suggesting US economic recovery was on the right track.

However, analysts said weakness from wider markets related to uncertainty surrounding Cyprus could also pressure gold as they sold bullion to cover losses elsewhere.

Gold’s 12-year bull run has benefited in the last three years from the euro zone crisis. In September, 2011, fears about Greece’s debt problems sent bullion to its record high of USD 1,920 an ounce while equities plunged.

Silver jumps, gold ETF houldings stead

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, stood unchanged from a day earlier at 1,222.162 tonnes on Tuesday. The ETF on Monday posted its first daily inflow since early February.

Silver, which is widely used in industrial applications, outperformed gold after data showed a pickup in the growth of China’s vast manufacturing sector.

Spot silver gained 1.4 percent to USD 29.17

Among platinum group metals, platinum rose 0.1 percent to USD 1,576.24, while palladium was down 0.2 percent to USD 755.25.

Investors now digested news Switzerland’s palladium exports jumped last month to its highest since September 2008.

Mar 22, 2013 – MoneyControl.com

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