20 February 2015
Gold Trims Fourth Weekly Decline on Greece, U.S. Rate Outlook
(Bloomberg) - Gold advanced to pare the longest run of weekly losses in 17 months as investors weighed the outlook for an agreement on Greece’s funding and the timing of a U.S. rate increase amid signs of economic growth.
Bullion for immediate delivery added as much as 0.3 percent to $1,209.84 an ounce and traded at $1,208.53 by 2:28 p.m. in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Prices are down 1.7 percent this week and a fourth straight decline would be the longest run since September 2013.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting released this week showed policy makers argued for keeping borrowing costs lower for longer. Reports Thursday showed U.S. households were more upbeat in February about the economic outlook than at any time in the past four years and fewer Americans than forecast filed for jobless claims. European finance ministers are meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss Greece’s bailout.
“There’s probably just enough uncertainty around the globe to keep markets a little bit hesitant and looking at safe havens,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney. “U.S. job numbers were pretty strong so that again raises the specter of higher U.S. interest rates this year.”
Many Fed officials cited risks ranging from a stronger dollar to turmoil in Greece as weakening the case for the first rate increase since 2006, a record of the Jan. 27-28 meeting showed. The cautious tone contrasted with a report a week later showing payrolls rose more than forecast in January, capping the strongest three months of jobs growth in 17 years.
Germany regards a proposal submitted by Greece to fellow euro-region governments as a basis for negotiations and doesn’t necessarily see a need to submit a fresh draft, according to a government official who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Greece and its euro-area peers are at odds over the formula needed to extend the country’s 240 billion-euro ($273 billion) rescue beyond the end of February.
Gold for April delivery traded at $1,208.30 an ounce on the Comex from $1,207.60 on Thursday.
Silver for immediate delivery added 0.7 percent to $16.4982 an ounce, trimming this week’s slump to 5 percent. Spot platinum was little changed at $1,172 an ounce and is heading for a fourth weekly retreat. Palladium was also little changed at $787.57 an ounce.