Silver Climbs as Gold Little Changed Before Euro Finance Meeting

Silver gained, while gold was little changed before European finance chiefs meet today to discuss aid to Cyprus and Greece. Palladium declined.

Silver for immediate delivery advanced as much as 0.3 percent to $31.495 an ounce before trading at $31.4775 at 1:16 p.m. in Singapore. Cash gold traded at $1,668.25 an ounce, while palladium fell 0.4 percent to $752.25 an ounce. Markets in Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia are closed today for public holidays.

Euro-area ministers are seeking to win back momentum in fighting the crisis as a tightening contest before Italian elections on Feb. 24-25 and a political scandal in Spain disrupt market calm. European leaders set the budget for 2014-2020 at 960 billion euros ($1.3 trillion), down from an original proposal of 1.047 trillion euros and less than the 994 billion euros spent in the current cycle.

"Given Asia is shut down for the new year holiday, it allows markets internationally to focus on what’s happening in the EU," said Gavin Wendt, a senior resource analyst and founder of Mine Life Pty in Sydney. The meeting of finance ministers will be "closely watched," he said by phone today.

Gold for April delivery rose as much as 0.2 percent to $1,670 an ounce on the Comex and was at $1,668.60. Futures were little changed at 30,827 rupees per 10 grams ($1,785.52 an ounce) on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd.

Spot platinum was also little changed at $1,715.75 an ounce after climbing 1.9 percent last week. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by the metal reached a record 51.77 metric tons on Feb. 8, data compiled by Bloomberg show, as output may drop in South Africa, producer of about 73 percent of world supply.

Bullish platinum wagers grew 3.9 percent to 42,530 contracts in the week ended Feb. 5, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Gold fell 0.4 percent this year as platinum climbed 11 percent.