Home > Economy of Europe, precious metals > Gold Price Rises To Record High In Europe

Gold Price Rises To Record High In Europe

Gold eyes record high as risk appetite retreats
9/8/2010/5:35 A.M. EDT
by Jan Harvey, edited by Alison Birrane

LONDON (Reuters) – Gold prices rose toward record highs in Europe on Wednesday as concerns over the European banking system weighed on appetite for assets seen as higher risk, like stocks, and diverted investment into bullion.

Spot gold was bid at $1,258.35 an ounce at 0915 GMT GMT, against $1,253.10 late in New York on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 90 cents to $1,260.20.

The metal has hit tough resistance at $1,260 an ounce, just below its all-time high of $1,264.90, reached in June. But analysts say they are confident in the metal’s rise.

“It seems to be benefiting from equity weakness, the renewed euro zone sovereign debt jitters and possibly concerns about new U.S. spending measures,” said Citigroup analyst David Thurtell.

He said while some funds would be selling ahead of technical resistance at $1,260, “it’s looking good.”

European stocks fell at the open on Wednesday, tracking losses in Asia, led by shares in Japan’s big exporters as a rise in the yen to a new 15-year high threatened to erode their overseas earnings.

The euro, little changed against the dollar, hit a lifetime low against the Swiss franc as fears over the banking sector prompted investors to seek refuge in the safe-haven Swiss currency.

Heightened risk aversion was also reflected on the bond markets. Bund futures opened higher on worries about banks and after Ireland extended its guarantee for short-term bank liabilities.

“With European debt concerns set to intensify, we expect further investment diversification to propel the metals to fresh highs,” said TheBullionDesk.com analyst James Moore in a note.

OIL FALLS FOR THIRD DAY

Among other commodities, oil fell for a third session to below $74 a barrel, pressured by rising U.S. petroleum stockpiles and as a decline in equities reflected investors’ attempts to reduce risk exposure.

On the supply side of the gold markets, China said its production of the yellow metal fell 5.8 percent in July to 31.059 tons. China is the world’s biggest gold miner.

Gold prices are well placed technically after breaking out of the relatively narrow $1,175-1,225 an ounce range they stuck to for much of the summer, analysts said.

“The break of last week’s high of $1,254 gets us that much closer to target $1,265,” said ScotiaMocatta in a note. “A similar pattern was seen last week when we broke above the previous weeks high of $1,244.”

However, demand for physical gold from consumers like jewelers was muted in higher prices. Wholesale gold buying in India, the world’s biggest bullion consumer, weakened on Wednesday as prices rose.

But dealers in Mumbai said overall demand was still being supported by festival-related buying.

Elsewhere silver also rose 0.3 percent to $19.91 an ounce from $19.83, having earlier approached the previous session’s high at $20, the metal’s highest price in 2-1/2 years.

Platinum was at $1,555 an ounce against $1,553.03, while palladium was at $523 against $520.85.

The metals have taken support in recent weeks from strikes going on in major platinum group metals producer South Arica, though the mining industry itself has been little affected.

“It is the climate of industrial action throughout the country that we believe is important and may hold relevance for platinum prices,” said HSBC in a note. “South Africa produces three-quarters of the world’s platinum output.”

“Unlike gold, platinum’s supply/demand balances are tight, with relatively little refined platinum held in above-ground storage.” – Source

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