Friday, May 25, 2012
--Comex June gold settles up $11.40, or 0.7%, at $1,568.90 an ounce
--Euro near steady against dollar after touching fresh lows
--Traders close out bets against gold ahead of U.S. holiday weekend
By Matt Day
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Gold futures edged higher Friday as some traders were reluctant to go into the weekend holding bets prices would fall on the chance there would be a new development in Europe's debt crisis.
The most actively traded gold contract, for June delivery, rose $11.40, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,568.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Friday's gain wasn't enough to erase this week's losses, and futures fell 1.4% during the week.
Futures prices rose Thursday for the first time in four sessions, as some traders saw a bargain in the precious metal's recent declines.
Currency markets had a steadier tone Friday, with some investors paring their bearish bets on the euro amid steady government bond markets in some of Europe's more debt-heavy countries. That helped ease the pressure on the gold market.
The recent escalation in Europe's debt crisis has slammed gold prices, sending futures last week to a 10-month low. Investors seeking safety from a potential banking crisis in the event that Greece exits the European currency union have chosen the U.S. dollar, in turn making dollar-denominated gold appear more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
But the euro was little changed on Friday against the U.S. dollar, rebounding after earlier touching the lowest point against the dollar in almost two years. Trading was muted in currency markets, even after the head of a Spanish regional government said it needed a funding boost.
The gold market has shown signs of stabilizing, HSBC analyst James Steel said in a note, but emerging-market buying may be needed to keep a floor under prices. Such buying has been mixed this year, hampered in particular by a weak Indian currency that kept local gold prices high in the world's top importer of the metal.
Comex floor trading will be closed Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
Settlements (ranges include open-outcry and electronic trading):
London PM Gold Fix: $1,569.50; previous PM $1,568.50
June gold $1,568.90, up $11.40; Range $1,550.70-$1,573.70
July silver $28.386, up 22.90 cents; Range $27.875-$28.490
July platinum $1,426.50, up $4.10; Range $1,433.80-$1,412.00
June palladium $590.00, up $2.50; Range $584.70-$595.00
-By Matt Day, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-4986; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires