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Thursday, February 12, 2015
The price of gold is taking a beating
Gold's 2015 rally was looking shaky on Wednesday with the metal falling for a second day in a row to levels last seen January 9.
The decline in the gold price came despite rising concerns that Greece may abandon the euro and Ukraine may be headed for a wider conflict with the stronger US dollar doing most of the damage.
In afternoon trade on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gold for April delivery dropped 1.1% or $13.60 to exchange hands at $1,218.60 an ounce, at the lows for the day.
Gold's 2015 gains on the back of safe haven demand have now been trimmed to around $30 an ounce as the metal beat a steady retreat from a high of $1,307 hit on January 22.
Yields on benchmark US treasurys stayed on the higher side of 2% on Wednesday, rising for the sixth straight session to a one month high.
It's an indication that markets are expecting a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve over the summer months. Higher yields raises the opportunity costs of holding gold because the metal provides no income.
Higher rates also boost the value of the US dollar – already trading at multi-year highs – which usually move in the opposite direction of the gold price.
On Wednesday the US currency edged higher again coming close 12-year highs against the currencies of its major trading partners hit late January. The dollar index has strengthened by 17.4% over the last year.
Germany's Commerzbank on Wednesday predicted a gold price of $1,250 an ounce by the end of the year reports Platts News.
The bank said that while it believes that the gold price is likely to continue benefiting from the "ultra-loose monetary policy pursued by the ECB, we expect the gold price to suffer a renewed setback in the summer months because the market is underestimating the [US Federal Reserve's] interest rate hikes."
In Europe, Wednesday's crucial meeting of European finance ministers to discuss the future of the Greek bailout program may offer a surprise to markets, while the outcome of urgent peace talks between Russian and Ukraine happening at the same time is also being closely watched.