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Gold recovers as Greece deal fails

Gold edged higher on Friday, recovering from its lowest in more than two weeks as Greece failed to reach an agreement with its international creditors, although gains were capped by expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike.

Asian equities fell as Greece failed again to reach an agreement with its creditors and stumbled towards a default, while major currencies like the euro and dollar drifted as the debt saga sidelined investors.

Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,174.98 an ounce by 0158 GMT. Prices fell to their lowest since June 8 at $1,171.02 on Thursday.

“Eurozone finance ministers ended their meeting without agreement after the three creditor institutions put forward a final cash-for-reform proposal,” HSBC analyst James Steel said in a research note.

“Despite the possible gold-bullish ramifications of a Greek default, gold prices did little, indicating investors are not yet focused on gold as a safe haven as regards the Greek crisis.”

Greece failed again to clinch a deal with its international creditors on Thursday, setting up a last-ditch effort on Saturday to either avert a default next week or start preparing to protect the euro zone from financial market turmoil.

The yellow metal, which is often seen as a safe haven during times of financial and economic uncertainties, has lost ground for the past five sessions on hopes of a Greek debt deal.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve is set to increase interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, boosting the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, have pressured gold this year, keeping it in a narrow range.

Gold has held largely between $1,160 and $1,230 since mid-March, struggling to break higher despite an ostensibly bullish rise in tensions over Greece.

Demand in Asia’s physical market remains slow despite a revival of Indian monsoon rains. “The Indian market is still sluggish regarding gold demand, with discounts to London reported on the key Mumbai market,” Steel said.-Reuters