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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gold climbs as rising risk appetite lifts euro

LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Gold climbed for a fourth session on Thursday as the euro hit a two-week high versus the dollar and European stock markets rose on hopes the IMF may boost lending resources, with markets also awaiting the outcome of crucial talks between Greece and its creditors.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,661.99 an ounce at 1021 GMT, having earlier peaked at $1,669.75, its highest since Dec. 13. It has had a positive start to the year, up 6.4 percent since end December.

Gains in the euro have helped it this week. The single currency climbed to a two-week high against the dollar and the yen on Thursday, supported by better appetite for assets seen as higher risk.

"Rising risk appetite, a weak U.S. dollar and the breach of key resistances is giving gold the momentum to head towards the $1,700 an ounce level in the near term," said Pradeep Unni, senior analyst at Richcomm Global Services. Further resistance could be expected at $1,686, he added.

European shares hit their highest in nearly 5-1/2 months as traders awaited the outcome of talks between Greece and its private creditors. They meet for a second day of bargaining on a crucial bond swap deal on Thursday, with time running out for reaching a compromise needed to avoid a default.

Risk appetite was helped by news that the IMF is seeking to more than double its war chest by raising $600 billion in new resources to help countries deal with the fallout of the euro zone debt crisis.
(Reporting by Jan Harvey; Editing by Alison Birrane)

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