January 23, 2012 / 3:06 AM / 8 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 6-week high on TOCOM, eyes on Greece

* Gold defies euro, up on TOCOM
    * Coming Up: Eurogroup meeting; 1600 GMT

 (Updates prices, adds quotes)	
    By Lewa Pardomuan	
    SINGAPORE, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Gold jumped to its
highest in more than a month on Monday as Tokyo futures rose on
buying from investors, but gains could be limited by a weaker
euro after Greece and its private creditors failed to strike a
crucial deal to avoid a messy default. 	
    Investors are also waiting for euro zone ministers to decide
later in the day what terms of a Greek debt restructuring they
are ready to accept as part of a second bailout package for
Athens. 	
    Gold rose 0.75 percent to $1,670.18 an ounce by 0558
GMT as gains on Tokyo futures spilled into the cash market after
hitting a high of $1,672.89, its strongest since mid-December. 	
    Gold has risen more than 6 percent so far this year, but
stayed below a lifetime high of around $1,920 hit last
September.	
    "Given too many market-moving factors, investors will find
it difficult to focus on one factor, keeping the global gold
market in range," said Akira Doi, a vice-president at commodity
brokerage Daiichi Commodities Co, in Tokyo. 	
    "A disaster in the euro zone would not necessarily spark
gold buying as even gold would be seen as a risk and investors
would likely be prompted to sell, while geopolitical risk such
as tension surrounding Iran would boost the safe-haven appetite
for gold."	
    The most active gold contract on the Tokyo Commodity
Exchange, December, added 34 yen a gram to 4,149 yen
after rising as high as 4,152 yen a gram, its strongest since
mid-December.	
    "There's a little bit of buying, that's why we see a change
in price trend. We've seen physical buying from the general
public," said a dealer in Tokyo, referring to private investors.
 	
    But overall trading was slow in Asia because physical
markets in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were closed
for the Lunar New Year break. 	
    U.S. February gold added $8.3 to $1,672.30 an ounce.	
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>	
     Euro zone liquidity levels:   
     link.reuters.com/qeq25s 	
     Greek debt: 	
 here
 	
    <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 	
     The euro slipped as caution returned on Greece's financing
woes after Athens and its private creditors failed to agree on a
debt swap deal that is vital to avert a chaotic default for
Greece. 	
    Gold often tracks the fortunes of the euro and stocks
because of its safe-haven status, which allows speculators to
sell the metal for cash to cover losses in other markets,
especially during this period of uncertainty in Europe.	
    "Gold should continue to rebound during 1Q'12, but the gains
are unlikely to hail a return to the uptrend of the preceding
three years," ANZ said in a report.	
    "Although the broader profile suggests that gold should push
towards $1,800, gold appears to be running out of steam on the
test of $1,670."	
    Silver extended gains and hit a high of $32.48 an
ounce, its strongest level since early December. U.S. Mint data
showed sales of silver American Eagles totalled 5.3 million
ounces on Friday, on track to surpass its record high of 6.4
million ounces set in January 2011.  	
    Platinum and palladium -- both used in auto
catalysts -- tracked gold and equities higher, before losing
some of the gains. 	
    Japan's Nikkei share average was set to extend gains for the
fifth straight session on Monday, although the failure over the
weekend of Greece and its private creditors to reach a deal to
avoid a default limited its advance. 	
        	
  Precious metals prices 0558 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1670.18   12.42   +0.75      6.80
  Spot Silver        32.29    0.14   +0.44     16.61
  Spot Platinum    1528.24   -2.51   -0.16      9.71
  Spot Palladium    675.22    1.72   +0.26      3.48
  COMEX GOLD FEB2  1671.20    7.20   +0.43      6.66         8921
  COMEX SILVER MAR2  32.30    0.62   +1.97     15.71         3265
  Euro/Dollar       1.2894
  Dollar/Yen         77.02
 
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 	
    	
	
 (Additional reporting by Chikako Mogi in Tokyo; Editing by
Sugita Katyal)
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