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Gold Snaps 5-Day Loss To Settle A Tad Higher On Greece

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Gold futures snapped a five-day loss to settle higher on Friday, after prices fluctuated for much of the session, on concerns over Greece's financial woes with no deal still in sight. The uptick in gold prices comes despite the dollar trending higher against a basket of some major currencies.

Nevertheless, gold prices dropped 2.4% for the week.

However, there was some optimism after Greece's creditors proposed a five-month extension of its current bailout program if the government agrees to a set of reforms, reports said citing officials and leaked documents.

With the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss deal proposals Greece ended without a deal, the euro area finance ministers are now scheduled to hold their next session on Saturday. Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the "door is still open" for Greece.

Under the new proposal, the massive EUR 240 billion bailout will be extended until end November, when a total EUR 12 billion aid will be offered. The current program is set to expire at the end of this month and extension could give Greece more time to hold negotiations with creditors to reach a feasible solution.

News reports said Greece may be given EUR 1.8 billion as the first tranche to meet a EUR 1.6 billion payment due to the International Monetary Fund on June 30. The money will come from profits made by the European Central Bank's holdings of Greek bonds. The disbursement will be possible only if the Greek parliament approves the proposal and adopts first set of reforms. The offer will also require approval from other eurozone parliaments.

Gold futures found little other support with the dollar trending higher, even as consumer sentiment in the US improved much more than previously expected in June.

Gold for August delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained USD1.40 or 0.1%, to settle at USD1,173.20 an ounce, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday.

Gold for August delivery scaled an intraday high of USD1,178.00 and a low of USD1,167.10 an ounce.

On Thursday, gold prices dropped USD1.10 or 0.1%, to settle at USD1,171.80 an ounce, as uncertainties over Greece's continued with no signs of any deal before the deadline of June 30.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased to 713.23 tons on Friday from its previous close of 706.37 tons on Thursday.

The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against six major currencies, traded at 95.51 on Friday, up from its previous close of 95.21 on Thursday in late North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 95.67 intraday and a low of 95.08.

The euro trended lower against the dollar at USD1.1151 on Friday, as compared to its previous close of USD1.1206 in North American trade late Thursday. The euro scaled a high of USD1.1221 intraday and a low of USD1.1132.

On the economic front, consumer sentiment in the US improved more than previously estimated in June, a report from the University of Michigan said Friday. The consumer sentiment index for June was upwardly revised to 96.1 from the mid-month reading of 94.6. Economists expected the index to be unrevised from the preliminary reading, which was already up sharply from the final May reading of 90.7.

France's consumer confidence held steady for the second straight month in June, survey data from the statistical office INSEE showed Friday. The consumer confidence came in at 94 in June, the same reading as in the previous two months. The May figure was revised from 93. Economists had expected the index to remain same at 93.

Germany's import prices dropped at a faster-than-expected pace in May, figures from Destatis showed Friday. Import prices slid 0.8% year-over-year in May, faster than previous month's 0.6% decrease. Economists had expected a 0.4% fall for the month.

The eurocoin indicator, which measures the current economic situation in the euro area, rose for the seventh consecutive month in June, a survey by the Bank of Italy and the Centre for Economic Policy Research showed Friday. The eurocoin indicator increased to 0.39 in June from 0.38 in the previous month. In April, the score was 0.33.

Eurozone banks lending to private sector in May grew at its fastest pace in more than three years, indicating demand for credit has also started to recover with economic growth. Loans to the private sector increased 0.5% in May from last year after staying flat in April and gaining 0.1% in March, the European Central Bank reported Friday. This was the fastest expansion since early 2012.

At the same time, the overall credit extended to the private sector increased 0.2% after remaining unchanged in April. Also, the rate of growth in credit to households accelerated to 0.9%.

House prices in England and Wales climbed at the slowest annual pace in seventeen months in May, figures from the Land Registry revealed Friday. The house price index rose 4.6% year-on-year following 5.1% gain in April. The latest increase was the smallest since December 2013, when prices increased 4.3%. House price inflation eased for the ninth successive month in May.


Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX



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