Greece default: Why isn’t gold budging?

Gold
Getty Images

Gold's stubborn non-reaction to Greece's default on its crucial 1.5 billion euro repayment ($1.7 billion) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) couldn't be more disappointing to bullion bugs.

The yellow metal reversed slight gains to trade around 0.3 percent lower at $1,169 on Wednesday, despite heightened uncertainty around the fate of the heavily-indebted nation.

So, why isn't the yellow metal catching a safe-haven bid? Here's what commodities analysts are chalking it up to, in their own words:

First off, investors expect the Greek crisis will be contained.

Victor Thianpiruiyam, commodity strategist at ANZ: "The market seems a little more confident with the situation now. There seem to be reassurances from euro zone officials that the contagion risk from Greece will be relatively small if any at all.

"Of course, we are in unchartered territory at the moment, so if something happens that raises the level of uncertainty or risk or contagion, gold should benefit from that. It's unclear what the exact trigger or event could be at the moment," he continued. "I would be buying gold as an insurance against this but there's no guarantees it's going to get a bid."

Secondly, gold's longer-term fundamentals remain weak.

Ric Spooner, Chief Market Analyst CMC Markets: "People have an eye on longer term fundamentals the potential for higher interest rates, rising U.S. dollar, no real signs of inflation on the horizon – and finally the possibility of ongoing softness in jewelry demand in China with economic conditions there softening," he said.

"I would look to sell into strength whenever there are corrective rallies in gold. I expect it will fall to $1,000 in the next six to 18 months. When the Federal Reserve's rate hiking cycle starts gold will likely be a casualty."