Gold gaining traction ahead of Greek vote

In the Lead: World's Best-Selling Bullion Coins; Not What You Think

Following four sessions of sizeable losses in value, precious metals climbed along with crude oil this morning as a vote on the implementation of required austerity measures neared in Greece. Prime Minister Papandreou’s proposed €78 billion program of spending cuts and asset sales faces a tough, sell but is the prerequisite to the release of some €12 billion in payments coming from the initially approved bailout package.

As well, a rolling-over of Greek debt will be needed in order to secure the next payment tranche to Greece, but that deal is not anticipated to materialize until Sunday, at the earliest. Thus, when one adds the anti-austerity strikes having been staged this morning by Greece’s communist-led trade union to the equation, there is enough uncertainty surrounding the issue to account for the small rebound in precious metals even as the US dollar gained additional ground.

Spot dealings in New York this morning opened on a firmer note across the metals’ complex as the aforementioned Greek drama prompted a recovery in crude oil and a bit of an optimism-driven bounce in the euro. Still, physical demand at under the $1,500 mark was rather tepid according to dealing desks we contacted overnight.

Apparently, there are some clusters of bullion orders on the books near $1,480.00 by Indian traders who are taking a wait-and-hope approach to the recent selloff in the yellow metal. Spot gold was quoted at $1,501.50 at opening time in New York, showing a $4.50 per ounce gain. The first hour of trading did not offer much in the way of follow-through buying however, and gold struggled to maintain the $1,500 level as did silver the $34.00 one.

Speaking of physical metals, we note the revamping of one (much-visited by investors) website that focuses on the world of gold bullion bars. We are of course to the referring museum-quality and highly educational website, which, with significant support from the World Gold Council, now boasts a home page that is much easier to navigate, and has a more contemporary format.

Along with the redesign, two new supplements have also been placed on the GBWW website. One of the site’s updates is highlighting the bars produced by Meskuk & Ziynet – minted by Turkish State Mint. It may come as a surprise to most retail gold investors to learn that The Turkish State Mint has issued 134 million “Meskuk and Ziynet” gold bullion coins (13 million ounces equals about 405 metric tonnes), making them the world’s best-selling gold bullion coins over the past decade. The coins were sold mainly in Turkey and in the Middle East. The United States Mint, by comparison, issued only 9.8 million Eagle and Buffalo gold bullion coins (6.8 million ozs. = 212 tonnes) in the same period.

Silver had actually started Tuesday’s session at $33.99 with a 41-cent climb but thus far remained within the 75-cent range we saw overnight (from $33.50 to $34.25). Platinum picked up $19.00 per ounce to open at $1,693.00 the ounce, while palladium rose $9 to the $735.00 mark. No price change was reported in rhodium which was indicated at the $1,925.00 per ounce level on the bid-side.

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