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Gold Today: Gold Inches Up, Boosted by Russian Central Bank Buying

Saturday, July 21, 2012 4:14:52 AM
What is the gold price today? Gold prices closed higher on Friday, at $1,582 an ounce level as the news emerged that Russia’s central bank increased its bullion reserves in June overshadowing the euro zone debt crisis which resurfaced after one of the Spain’s bankrupt province, Valencia requested for federal government’s bailout, weighing on euro.

The metal, though, edged lower 0.2% for the week as bullion investors retreated following fed Chairman’s Ben Bernanke’s Congressional testimony early in the week, where he stopped short of hinting on another round of quantitative easing.

Spot gold gained marginally 0.2 percent to $1,584.20 an ounce, recovering from a low at $1,573.14 earlier in the session.

U.S. Gold futures edged up $2.40 an ounce at $1,582.80. A preliminary data provided by Reuters show that trading volume was 20 percent below its 30-day average.

Earlier on Friday, gold prices slumped as euro softened against the dollar amid further deterioration in euro zone debt crisis. A highly indebted province of Spain, Valencia formally requested the federal government that it will require a bailout. The news further unnerved investors’ sentiment over euro and Spain- which is teetering under recession, massive unemployment and fragile banking sector.

A 1% percent slide in the S&P 500 index and drop in crude oil prices also weighed on bullion. Despite being considered as safe haven asset,  gold moved in tandem with other riskier assets for most part of this year.

However, later during the day, bullion investors shifted their focus on Russia where its central bank raised gold reserves by 6.2 tons to 836.3 tons in June. Central banks across the world have consistently raised its gold reserves in 2012, diversifying its portfolio amid global economic uncertainty which increased the volatility in the foreign exchange market.

Nevertheless, due to lack of further monetary stimulus and economic crisis in the euro zone, gold has remained tightly range-bound, hovering between $1,527 and $1,655 in the past three months.

Showing concern over metal’s failure to break its current range, Mark Arbeter, chief technical strategist at S&P Capital IQ said to Reuters-CNBC, “We think a break under $1,500 an ounce could open the floodgates on the downside and end the bull market that started over 10 years ago.”

However, David Meger, director of metals trading at brokerage Vision Financial Markets, differed in his views as he said to Reuters, “We continue to find some relatively significant support at levels below $1,570 as markets are viewing them as a buying opportunity. They will remain the near-term levels of support.”

Gold Physical Demand Remain Subdued

Gold’s imports in India- world’s biggest consumer of the yellow metal- have plunged by 50% so far this year. The Indian rupee has tumbled against the U.S. dollar amid falling foreign investments and gloomy business sentiment, making imports more expensive.

Meanwhile, world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSE: GLD), reported that its holdings shrunk by 9 tons on Thursday, its biggest one-day drop since May 22, bringing its total reserves to a six-month low.

Among other precious metals, silver gained 0.5 percent at $27.30 an ounce, while spot platinum lost 0.3 percent to $1,408.07 an ounce and spot palladium also fell 1.4 percent to $571.43 an ounce.


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