Gold fluctuates with the start of this week, biased to the downside

With the start of this week, markets are still pressured to the downside and the sentiment is still deteriorating, especially after rating agencies started to move and threaten the euro-area region and also after the North Korean leader died on Friday, leaving political conflict and raising uncertainty in Asia, which forced investors to flee to the low yielding U.S. dollar in order to avert as much risk as possible, which in turn pressured the metal to the downside.

Gold opened the session this week at $1598.45 per ounce, and recorded the highest at $1604.88 and the lowest at $1583.41, and is currently trading around $1596.98, extending the huge losses incurred in the past week, where the metal opened the last week at $1712.60 per ounce and recorded the highest at $1714.67 and the lowest at $1559.95, and close in New York on Friday at $1598.00 per ounce.

However, today the euro zone finance minister will discuss in a teleconference how to tackle the debt crisis, while they will review the measures taken earlier, in attempts to prepare the changes and the measures and accordingly finalize the deal by the end of January, according to European Union officials.

European nations will attempt to end the debt crisis this week by providing the International Monetary Fund with more funds and also by providing more long-term liquidity to banks alongside with moving towards tighter fiscal rules, where these measures taken earlier are being discussed as European officials aim to accelerate the implementation of the summit deal in order to restore confidence and quell jitters in the market.

Moody's the rating agency cut Belgian credit ranking by two notches on fragile sentiment and funding stress, where Belgium's current credit rating has become Aa3 from Aa1 with negative outlook.

Moody's also followed Fitch Ratings, which lowered the French credit outlook and threatened several euro-area nations with a possible downgrade including Italy, Belgium Spain, Slovenia, Ireland and Cyprus on a lack of decisive measures to tackle the euro-zone debt crisis.

Among other precious metals, silver opened the session today at $29.62 per ounce, and recorded the highest at $29.75 and the lowest at $28.69 so far, and is currently trading around $29.03 per ounce, extending the huge losses seen last week, where the metal opened the week at $32.17 and closed it at $29.65 per ounce after reaching a low of $28.08.

Platinum lost $3.0 and 0.21% per ounce after the opening of $1419.75, to currently trade around $1416.75. The metal set a high of $1429.00 and a low of $1405.00 per ounce.