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Gold falls for 5th straight day, traders await news on Greece

Gold
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Gold eased for the fifth straight session on Thursday as traders awaited further news on Greece's negotiations with its creditors, while caution over the metal's longer-term outlook weighed on interest.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve is set to increase interest rates for 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.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,172.95 an ounce, little changed from the previous session, while U.S. gold futures for August delivery settled down $1.10 at $1,171.80. Spot prices earlier hit a two-week low of $1,171.02.

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.

"We would have expected gold to trade much higher, given all the issues in Greece," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. "It's being kept in check by an ongoing withdrawal by speculative financial investors. If this doesn't stop, the gold price won't be able to recover."

Global equity markets edged lower on lingering worries over Greece.

Greece failed again to clinch a deal with its international creditors on Thursday, setting up a last-ditch effort on Saturday to avert a default next week.

"We attempted this week to break $1,200 and failed, and that doesn't look so good," said Afshin Nabavi, head of trading at MKS.

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"With gold, either people wait for it to go much lower so it's a bargain, or for it to get more expensive (so it has investment value). Now, people are waiting for lower numbers to buy."

Silver was down 0.4 percent at $15.86 an ounce.

"We expect to see further losses for both gold and silver, although that being said precious metals do look a little bit oversold in the short-term," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst for Forex.com.

"What's more, Greece could still default and exit the euro zone. Should this happen, it would undoubtedly boost the appeal of safe haven assets."

Spot platinum was up 0.8 percent at $1,079.25 an ounce, and spot palladium was down 2.3 percent at $677.25 an ounce.

Palladium fell to its lowest since July 2013 at $668.25 an ounce earlier, having broken through key chart support last week. Prices have slid more than 14 percent this year so far, hurt by perceptions that supply of the white metal is plentiful.