12 May 2015
Gold Struggles Below $1,200 as Dollar Firms
(Reuters) - Gold struggled below $1,200 an ounce on Tuesday, following small overnight losses, hurt by a firmer dollar and the absence of any robust safe-haven bids stemming from the Greek debt crisis.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,183.93 an ounce by 0320 GMT, after losing 0.3 percent on Monday.
Greece calmed immediate fears of a default on Monday by making a crucial 750 million euro ($837 million) payment to the International Monetary Fund a day early. But its finance minister said the liquidity situation was "terribly urgent" and a deal to release further funds was needed in the next couple of weeks.
Euro zone finance ministers welcomed some progress in slow-moving talks on a cash-for-reform deal between Athens and the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, but said more work was needed to reach a deal. Failure to do so could see Greece leave the euro zone.
"The Greek issue has not prompted any safe-haven bids. Even disappointing data last week from the United States failed to push gold higher, showing lots of caution among bullion investors," said a trader in Hong Kong.
Gold will probably extend its losses under $1,200, the trader said.
Strength in the dollar underpinned the bearish sentiment in gold. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, while also diminishing its appeal as a hedge.
The dollar was trading near a one-week high against the euro on Monday due to worries over Greece.
Bullion also failed to get a big lift from last week's U.S. jobs data, which tempered views a U.S. rate rise could come at the Federal Reserve's next policy meeting in June. Higher rates could dent demand for non-interest-paying bullion.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, saw the sharpest decline this year on Friday, a sign of bearish investor sentiment.
Weakness in equities, due to insufficient progress on talks between debt-strapped Greece and its creditors, failed to bolster gold.
Gold's price action is bearish and the metal will fall back toward the May 1 low of $1,170, said technical analysts at ScotiaMocatta.