Will we see a Greek tragedy start to unfold today?

As Greece’s make-or-break neogotiations with the EC come to a peak, Julian Phillips ponders on the outcome of the talks and its potential effects on the Euro

While there is only a week before the Chinese New Year on the 19th February, demand in China is not being allowed to feed through to London or New York as we mentioned yesterday, while traders and speculators move prices around on the back of euro prospects. As gold supplies have fed through to Asia, steadily and persistently at levels that are outrunning newly mined and scrap gold supplies, Asian demand is encouraged by current low prices and likely to increase. But we do expect Chinese demand to lessen in the next week as the holiday begins.

There is an almost surreal atmosphere on financial markets in Europe as they await the outcome of today’s meeting to discuss Greece’s demand to lessen the debt burden of Greece. They are facing a wall of opposition from the other member states. Greece has committed itself to getting better terms. We are in no doubt that the new government has extrapolated the possible reactions of the E.U. members and know precisely what steps they will take in each scenario. In true negotiating style the chest beating has to precede the meeting.

Looking at the eventualities, we do see the Eurozone losing more than Greece if the Greeks exit from the E.U. simply through a rapidly strengthening euro on foreign exchanges. The E.U. cannot afford that. A weak euro is the blessing Greece brings to the Eurozone. Posturing over debt obligations and the commitments of the previous Greek government will, we expect, bring considerable financial market tension and ensure a Greek exit. It is a choice for Greece to simply fail to pay the debt it can’t afford to and depart with ignominy or to fail in its challenge to the E.U. then, leave the E.U. with bravado, ahead of the default. Let’s see if we see a Greek tragedy or not?

Gold and silver markets today

Meanwhile on the precious metals markets, gold in New York closed yesterday at $1,234.00 down $6.70. In Asia the gold price lifted to $1,238. London took it down and it was Fixed at $1,235.50 down $2.00 and in the euro, at €1,092.396 down €4.387, while the euro slightly stronger at $1.1310. Ahead of New York’s opening gold was trading in London at $1,234.00 and in the euro at €1,091.41.

The silver price closed at $16.91 down 12 cents. Ahead of New York’s opening it was trading at $16.92.

There were no purchases or sales from or into the SPDR gold ETF or the Gold Trust on Tuesday, once again, despite the slippage in gold prices. The holdings of the SPDR gold ETF are at 773.305 and at 167.75 tonnes in the Gold Trust.

Julian D.W. Phillips for the Gold & Silver Forecasters – www.goldforecaster.com and www.silverforecaster.com

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