June 29, 2015
European investors are increasing purchases of gold as Greece’s turmoil boosts the appeal for an alternative to the euro.
Demand from Greek customers for Sovereign gold coins was double the five-month average in June, the U.K. Royal Mint said in an e-mailed statement. CoinInvest.com, an online retailer, said sales on Saturday and Sunday were the highest since Cyprus limited cash withdrawals in 2013, driven by a jump in German, French and Greek buyers.
Investors are searching for a safe haven after Greece imposed capital controls, closed banks and stopped selling gold coins to the public until at least July 6. Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said Germany is still open to negotiations if Greece wants.
“Most of our common gold coins are sold out,” Daniel Marburger, a director of Frankfurt-based CoinInvest.com, said by phone. “When people learned that the Greek banks will be closed, they started to think that it may not be such a bad idea to have some money in gold.”
Gold futures climbed 0.5 percent to settle at $1,179 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The metal has dropped 11 in the past 12 months.
Coin DemandGoldCore Ltd., which buys and sells bullion, reported coin and bar demand rose “significantly” on Monday. Sales to U.K. and Ireland today are about three times the average for the past three Mondays, the Dublin-based firm said in an e-mailed statement. The U.S. Mint has sold 61,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins this month, the most since January.
BullionVault, which says it operates the largest online physical gold trading platform, reported a jump in sales during the first half of this year, a sign of a broader increase.
Customers globally added 1.4 metric tons of gold to their account, the biggest increase since 2012, the London-based company wrote in a press release. More clients want their gold stored in Switzerland, a country that isn’t in the European Union, Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault, said by telephone.