|AFTER more than five months of
continuous protests, I stand today
in Change Square with thousands
of young people united by a lofty
dream. I have spent days and
nights camped out in tents with fellow
protesters; I have led demonstrations in
the streets facing the threat of mortars,
missiles and gunfire; I have struggled to
build a movement for democratic change
- all while caring for my three young children.
We have reached this historic moment
because we chose to march in the streets
demanding the resignation of President
Ali Abdullah Saleh, an end to his corrupt
and failed regime and the establishment
of a modern democratic state. On June 4,
our wish for Saleh´s departure was granted,
but our demand.
|PERHAPS no Arab ruler
responded as wisely to this
protests as the king of
Morocco - although that is
an exceptionally low bar.
When other dictators in the Arab
world answered protesters with gunfire,
King Mohammed VI grudgingly
accepted demonstrations, at least
when he was in a good mood. His
regime claimed that antigovernment
activism underscored the country´s
openness, and on Friday the king
announced constitutional reforms
that seem likely to reduce his own
role in governing the country.
These days, as much of the Arab
Spring has faded into an Arab winter
of repression, Morocco still feels fairly
spring-like. You can tell that from
the denunciations of the regime...
Gold gives up gains as euro zone crisis lingers
LONDON GOLD gave up early gains on Monday but was still supported by euro zone debt woes after ministers delayed a decision on emergency loans to Greece, while bullion priced in sterling struck a lifetime high.
Euro zone finance ministers postponed to July a final decision on extending a further 12 billion euros in emergency loans to Greece, saying Athens would first have to introduce harsh austerity measures.
Spot gold was at $1,537.21 by 0930 GMT (5:30 am ET) compared with $1,538.40 a tonne late in New York on Friday, having risen above $1,541 on Friday — its biggest one-day gain since May.
Gold is still below a lifetime high around $1,575 touched in early May.
“It’s treading water, you’re not going to get too much movement either way until we get more clarification as to what happens on Greece,” Credit Agricole analyst Robin Bhar said.
“The market is hungry for an actual agreement to be signed, sealed and dusted ... equities have come off this morning, the dollar is probably better bid than it was and markets are just starting the week slightly risk averse having had a good bounce on Friday.” The euro dropped toward recent lows, as a delay to the next tranche of Greek bailout funds undermined confidence in the common currency, with the options market and technical charts suggesting more losses.
Investors await the US Fed’s Open Market Committee’s announcement on interest rates on June 22, which could squeeze the dollar.
Financial markets are bracing for the conclusion at the end of June of the Fed’s quantitative easing, a cheapmoney policy credited with boosting stocks but blamed for sky-high commodities prices and a weak dollar.
“Investors will be trying to see how far or how high the bar for the next round of quantitative easing will be.
If this bar is actually lowered, then I think it will be beneficial for gold,” said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures.
“If it is high, then I think gold will still remain in its current range bounds that we are seeing.
I don’t think they will do QE3 now.” Gold priced in sterling hit a record high at 954.63 pounds, tracking early gains in spot gold.
Recent gains in gold were driven by debt problems in Europe, inflation fears in China following strong economic data and worries about a US economic slowdown.
The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for US economic growth and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are “playing with fire” unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits.