Gold & Silver

Gold gains on escalating North Korea tensions

Reuters Bengaluru | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 09, 2017


Gold rose on Wednesday after North Korea said it is considering an attack on the US Pacific territory of Guam just hours after President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that any threat to the US would be met with “fire and fury".

The tensions rattled through global markets, sending investors out of equities and into the safety of the yen, Swiss franc, and government debt. The VIX “fear gauge” of expected volatility on the S&P 500 hit a near month high on Tuesday.

“The market hates uncertainty and that's certainly what we have now,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

“But looking ahead unless we start to see a conflict breakout or a major stock market correction, (gold) is capped at 1,295 (although) the upside at moment is the favoured direction.”

Spot gold rose 0.6 per cent to $1,267.79 per ounce at 1004 GMT, while US gold futures for December delivery rose 0.9 per cent to $1,273.50 per ounce.

Gold hit a two-week low on Tuesday after US jobs data came in better than expected and the dollar turned positive, while investors awaited US inflation figures later this week for further clues about the pace of interest rate rises.

A strong dollar makes dollar-priced gold costlier for non-US investors while rising interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

“We've had some competing forces play out over the past 12 hours -- the US dollar was stronger off economic data, but that was quickly reversed with President Trump's comments about North Korea,” ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.

“I think (the North Korea situation) is going to continue to provide a little bit of support, but not enough to push prices significantly higher from here,” he added.

Switzerland's franc, a traditional safe haven, surged 0.6 per cent against the dollar on Wednesday, prompted in part by worries about increased US-North Korea tension. Platinum gained 0.4 per cent to $974 per ounce after hitting its highest since April on Tuesday.

“The upswing (in platinum) came to an abrupt end yesterday when the South African rand depreciated considerably because South Africas President Zuma once again survived a vote of no confidence in parliament,” said Commerzbank.

Silver rose 1.2 per cent to $16.70 per ounce, while palladium fell 0.6 per cent to $891.40.

Published on August 09, 2017
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