Gold Rises as Growing Risk of Greece Default Spurs Haven Demand

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Gold futures climbed the most in more than a week on mounting concern that Greece will stumble in its bid to avoid default, boosting demand for the metal as a haven.

The European Central Bank is studying measures to rein in emergency funding for Greek banks as resistance to further aid to the country’s stricken lenders grows, people with knowledge of the discussions said. A Saudi airstrike near Yemen’s capital added to haven demand. On Monday, holdings in exchange-traded products backed by gold rose to 1,621.7 tons, the highest since March 25, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

“Greece remains a risk factor and is helping gold,” George Gero, a precious-metal strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said in a telephone interview. “We are seeing a flight to gold because of the uneasiness around.”

Gold futures for June delivery rose 0.8 percent to settle at $1,203.10 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since April 10. The price has climbed 1.6 percent this year amid speculation that U.S. interest-rate increases will be gradual.

As of April 1, Russia’s central bank added to reserves about 30 tons, the most in six months, compared with the start of March.

India, the world’s biggest gold buyer, celebrates the Akshaya Tritiya festival on Tuesday. The event is considered a traditional day to buy precious metals, and sales may increase as much as 20 percent from 2014, said Manish Jain, chairman of the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.

Silver futures for May delivery rose 0.7 percent to $16.008 an ounce on the Comex.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,152.50 an ounce. Palladium futures for June delivery advanced 0.3 percent to $774.55 an ounce.

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