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Gold, Silver Prices Settle Higher on Protective Buying

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold and silver prices settled higher as Greece's debt issues remained in the spotlight despite Parliament securing its next chunk of bailout money.

Gold for August delivery added $10.20 to close at $1,510.40 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price has traded as high as $1,513.80 and as low as $1,500.80 while the spot gold price was up $6.50, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices rose $1.11 to $34.76 an ounce while the U.S. dollar index was losing 0.45% at $74.70 and the euro was adding 0.49% vs. the dollar.

Greece's parliament passed $40.3 billion in austerity measures, despite violent protests that brought Athens to a standstill, in order to secure the next portion of bailout money from the IMF and European Union. Although most investors expected this news, the euro staged a mini-rally which weighed on the dollar and helped gold and silver.

Parliament will vote on Thursday on how to implement tax hikes and spending cuts, which will cement the €12 billion handout needed to sustain Greece until September. The next chunk of cash will give the European Central Bank, EU and IMF officials time to work out a larger €110 bailout for Greece, which will be needed immediately. In question, is the role of private bondholders so the bailout money doesn't go directly towards principle or interest payments to creditors. According to reports, the IMF has forecast that Greece will have to pay out €131 billion in interest payments alone between 2009 and 2014.

Regardless of Greece's success in implementing austerity measures and receiving a bailout, many experts think financial disaster is inevitable and that only means good things for gold.

Tim Harvey, senior VP at ETF Securities, thinks Greece and the euro will see some stability but that it won't change things in the long term. "Each person in Greece owes €30,000 ... and Greece's main GDP earner is tourism and as of now there are no trains, no buses so where is the tax revenue going to come from?"
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