January 7, 2015 / 4:55 PM / in 3 years

Gold priced in euros hits highest since Sept 2013

2 Min Read

* Euro-denominated gold closes in on 1,030 euros/oz

* Single currency slides as euro zone inflation falls

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Gold priced in euros hit its highest since September 2013 on Wednesday as the single currency slid to a nine-year low against the dollar, reflecting concerns over deflation in the euro zone.

Euro-denominated gold rose to a peak of 1,029.81 euros an ounce, and was up 0.3 percent at 1,027.80 euros an ounce by 1624 GMT. Spot gold, by contrast, was down 0.4 percent at $1,213.77 an ounce.

The euro fell after data showed euro zone inflation slid into negative territory in December for the first time since 2009, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to loosen its monetary policy to stimulate economic growth.

Concerns over the prospect of a Greek exit from the euro zone are also supporting demand for the precious metal in Europe, dealers said.

Greece is gearing up for snap elections on Jan. 25 after lawmakers failed to elect a president last week, triggering the dissolution of parliament. Anti-bailout opposition party Syriza leading polls over the ruling conservatives.

Wolfgang Wrzesniok-Rossbach, chief executive of German bullion retailer Degussa, said demand for physical gold had been firm at the start of the year after a strong November and December.

"People are buying because of the situation around Greece and the discussions that we see there," he said. "We're seeing a consistent shift of some (wealth) into gold."

Gold is often seen as a safe store of value in times of volatility in other asset classes. Spot prices hit record highs near $2,000 an ounce in the third quarter of 2011, at a time when Greece was seen as at risk of exiting the euro zone. (Reporting by Jan Harvey, editing by William Hardy)

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