News Update

PRECIOUS-Gold rises 1 pct on Greece rescue deal optimism: * Bullion boosted as euro rises on draft Greek deal hopes
* In early trade, gold had slipped near two-week low
Gold prices rose 1
percent on Tuesday as expectations that a Greek
rescue deal will be completed drove the dollar down sharply
against the euro.
Bullion, which had dropped in early trade on nervousness
about Greece, bounced and was on track for its biggest daily
gain in two weeks as Greece's government was preparing a list of
reforms needed to clinch a new financing package.
Hopes for a bailout plan that would move Athens closer to
avoiding a chaotic debt default boosted gold's inflation-hedge
"If the deal falls apart, the ECB is going to be even more
aggressive in monetizing things and create credit to insulate
the banking system from a disorganized default," said James
Dailey, portfolio manager of the TEAM Asset Strategy Fund.
"It's basically a win-win for gold at this point," he said.
Spot gold was up 1 percent at $1,736.30 an ounce by
11:52 a.m. EST (1652 GMT) . In early trade, gold had
dipped as low as $1,709.29, which was near a two-week low.
U.S. gold futures for April delivery were up $14.20
at $1,739.10.

Brent crude oil rose above $116 per barrel to a six-month high on Tuesday as threats from Iran to ban exports to some European states stoked supply concerns, overshadowing fears that Greece’s debt crisis was worsening and could curb economic growth.

Brent’s premium to U.S. crude oil widened to more than $20 per barrel, its highest since October, as severe wintry weather spread across Europe and simmering tensions between the West and Iran escalated.

Front-month Brent touched $116.70, up 77 cents and its highest since early August.

“The geopolitical events surrounding Iran and the Middle East and the severe cold weather sweeping across Europe are providing support for Brent,We continue to see more upside risks for oil, but Europe's debt crisis will weigh.”

U.S. crude came under pressure from ample domestic supply and rising U.S. oil inventories.

U.S. light, sweet crude $96.1 -0.80 (-0.83%) fell more than $1 per barrel at one point before recovering slightly to trade around $95.95, down 96 cents.

Iran’s parliament said on Tuesday it was ready to impose a ban on oil exports to some European states, the country's English-language Press TV reported, pre-empting a ban announced by the Union slated to begin from July 1.

President Barack Obama tightened sanctions on Iran another notch, the White House said on Monday, targeting its central bank and giving U.S. banks new powers to freeze assets linked to the government.

Iran responded to the announcement by calling the decision an “antagonistic move.”

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