The price of gold was flirting with the milestone value of $1,600 per troy ounce on Monday, but concerns about the euro debt crisis tempered the yellowish metal's advance, published reports state.
The market performance on Monday was volatile as discussion circled around whether Spanish banks will glean enough support from the bailout package it solicited, MarketWatch reports.
The 17-nation monetary unit and the world's reserve currency are likely to be impacted by the fiscal situation on the plate of the euro zone nation that hosts the region's fourth-largest economy. Spain followed the lead of other nations in the euro bloc that have solicited bailout aid when it requested assistance on Saturday.
This week's performance of gold and the rest of the commodity complex will hinge on happenings in Europe as well as the performance of the U.S. dollar and the euro, chief analyst Chintan Karnani with Insignia Consultants in New Delhi told the news agency.
The bank bailout program has been welcomed by the market and added some confidence - this being the reason why [the euro] initially strengthened, senior vice president Frederic Panizzutti with MKS Group told MarketWatch. The fact that they recapitalize the banking system is a good thing [but] it remains a bailout so ... nothing really positive.
At 3:19 p.m. on Monday, gold futures climbed 0.5 percent, a $7.90 lift to $1,599.30 per troy ounce.
But Monday also saw the price of gold slip in the aftermath of last week's poor performance, Reuters reports.
Traders and investors were driving toward other assets as the euro pulled back.
Bullion just notched $1,600 per troy ounce last week but then retreated from that value. The driver was an underwhelming employment report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor prompting discussion about another round of intervention by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Economy-spurring measures that economic officials employ water down the value of the U.S. dollar, which typically boosts the price of gold as the two perform the inverse of one-another.
As a result, the yellowish metal achieved its largest one-day lift in 36 months. But that advance was short-lived after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did not state one of those measures was imminent.
What is going on in Europe doesn't seem to affect gold as much as you would have thought six months ago. It's really a QE trade - anything else is met with ambivalence, analyst Hayden Atkins with Macquarie told Reuters. The most visible physical investment flows aren't particularly strong. Some of the key physical markets have been relatively weak, so you're not getting any direction from there. It's just been about the Fed for the last six months.
Doubts about the prospects for the Spanish banking sector also were influenced by increasing bond yields in Spain.
The euro had touched its top value in almost 21 days against the U.S. dollar but those doubts tugged the monetary unit downward later during the Monday trading session.
A bailout for the European banks is a positive for the euro and in a way a positive for gold, but it may take some of the risk attraction of gold away, so there is some negativity there as well, analyst David Jollie with Mitsui Precious Metals told Reuters.
The Wall Street Journal reports the peak of the yellowish metal's trading day occurred after the 17-nation bloc's ministers announced they agreed to lend Spain as much as the equivalent of $125 billion in euros.
The embattled monetary unit was propelled by the climb and the price of gold was briefly north of $1,600 per troy ounce.