Wholesale prices to buy gold ticked back above $1,570 per ounce in London trade Thursday lunchtime, but held onto a 0.5% loss for the session as stock markets fell ahead of today's euro crisis summit in Brussels – the 12th such meeting in 12 months.
"Nein! No! Non!" said the front-page of German finance daily Handelsblatt, urging chancellor Angela Merkel not to concede to calls for weaker monetary or fiscal policy across the 17-nation currency zone.
Syria's state TV meantime reported what it called "terrorist" bomb attacks on the main court in Damascus, while neighboring Turkey deployed anti-aircraft rockets along the border.
"There's no semblance of a safe-haven [in gold] at the moment," says Société Générale's Robin Bhar, quoted by Reuters.
"But as the price goes lower that bid [to buy gold] does come back as you maybe get some renewed investor interest," he adds, citing sovereign wealth funds and central banks.
Silver prices also slipped again early Thursday, "feeling the effects of lower base metals and crude oil prices," according to one dealer, and retreating towards last week's new 2012 lows beneath $26.70 per ounce.
Brent crude – Europe's benchmark oil price – today slipped to $92.25 per barrel, only just above the marginal cost of production according to analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
The recent drop "marks the start of the next oil price up-cycle," they believe.
Back in silver bullion, "I suspect some fairly chunky stops will be lurking just under these levels," says refiner and financier MKS's senior trader in Sydney, Alex Thorndike.
"If we get closer, especially considering how thin this market is currently, we could see larger players gunning for these" to drive silver prices still lower, he believes.
Major government bonds meantime pushed higher Thursday morning, nudging 10-year German interest rates down to 1.51% per year as the euro currency slumped one cent to a three-week low of $1.2410.
Italy had to pay 6.19% per year today at a sale of new 10-year bonds, up from 6.03% a month ago.
Today in Greece – where bank deposits have apparently turned positive since the election of pro-bailout Samaras party last week, and where police in Thessaloniki said they'd broken up a euro-coin counterfeiting ring, the country's first such discovery – the new Parliament was sworn in.
New prime minister Antonis Samaras' government yesterday dismissed the senior management of the Greek national bank, risking a revival of "the practice of making political appointments" according to one banker.