Gold tread water in Asia on Tuesday with investors looking still to Greece to see if the parliament follows through on tough reforms. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery was flat at $1,155.40 a troy ounce. Silver for September delivery fell 0.14% to $15.435 an ounce. Copper for September delivery was flat at $2.543 a pound. Overnight, gold futures fell mildly amid a stronger dollar, as Greece and its international creditors agreed in principal to a preliminary bailout early Monday morning following tense, often acrimonious marathon negotiations. Following an emergency 17-hour summit in Brussels, perhaps the longest in the history of the European Union, Greece agreed to a wide range of concessions on austerity measures that could pave the way for a three-year, ?86 billion bailout through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Under the deal, the Greek parliament has until Wednesday to pass four sweeping laws regarding sales tax increases, pension system overhauls and labor market reforms. The ratification could trigger a vote by six other EU parliaments later this week. By July 22, the Greek parliament must pass two additional laws in order for talks to proceed. Greece must also open some of its businesses for Sunday trade and privatize its publicly-owned electricity transmission network operator, also known as ADMIE. \”The Greeks have to move first, show that they\’re credible, that they mean it and at the end of the week we will take the form of a decision moving forward on the program,\” said Netherlands finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the euro group of finance ministers. The austerity measures are considered stricter than the ones laid out in a proposal by euro zone leaders late last month, before they were rejected by Greece in a historic referendum on July 5. In Athens, Greek banks remained closed on Monday as the European Central Bank declined to raise the cap on emergency liquidity assistance to the institutions, which could have allowed them to reopen after two weeks of closures. While European Council president Donald Tusk said that the euro group would work on an arrangement that could provide Greece with bridge financing to meet its short-term obligations, there were no indications of an imminent deal on Monday afternoon. Greece owes a ?3.5 billion loan repayment to the European Central Bank on July 20. Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras may have won some concessions from creditors by insisting that a divisive ?50 billion privatization fund remain in Athens. The proposed \”external and independent fund,\” created through a sell-off of Greek state-owned assets would be used to recapitalize banks, reduce Greek debt and pay for other investments. Tsipras\’ negotiating partners originally intended for the fund to be established in Luxembourg. Without a comprehensive deal, Greece faced the prospect of default on its sovereign debt and a possible departure from the euro. \”We faced tough decisions, tough dilemmas. The agreement calls for tough measures,\” Tsipras said in a statement. \”However, we prevented the transfer of public property abroad, we prevented the financial asphyxiation and the collapse of the financial system?this was planned to the last detail ? having recently been designed to perfection, and in the process of being implemented.\” Gold is viewed as a safe-haven for investors in periods of severe economic instability. In China, exports for June were up 2.8% but imports were down by 6.1%, much higher than an expected decline of 16% on the month. It resulted in a lower surplus of $46.5 billion, far below analysts\’ forecasts of $55.3 billion. China is the world\’s largest producer and second-largest consumer of the precious metal.
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