Gold & Silver

Gold hits 5-month high; geopolitical worries drive flight to safety

Reuters | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 12, 2017

gold

Gold hit a 5-month high on Wednesday after rising nearly 2 per cent in the previous session, with investors seeking refuge in safe-haven assets due to rising tensions over US relations with Russia and North Korea.

Spot gold had edged up 0.1 per cent to $1,275.21 per ounce by 0035 GMT, after earlier hitting its strongest since November 10 at 1,276.28.

US gold futures edged up 0.3 per cent to $1,277.60.

Heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula and West Asia following US strikes on Syria, along with the upcoming French presidential election, have left investors nervous.

The United States had accused Russia on Tuesday of trying to shield Syria's leader from blame for a deadly poison gas attack last week, as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson brought a Western message to Moscow condemning its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

North Korean state media had warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression, as a US Navy strike group steamed towards the western Pacific - a force US President Donald Trump described as an “armada".

French centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen clung on as frontrunners in France's tight presidential race on Tuesday, but the unpredictable outcome is pushing some pollsters to calculate the most extreme runoff scenarios.

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams had said on Tuesday the US central bank should raise interest rates three or four times this year, and begin to trim the Fed's multitrillion-dollar balance sheet in late 2017.

Trump told a group of chief executives on Tuesday that his administration was revamping the Wall Street reform law known as Dodd-Frank and might eliminate the rules and replace them with "something else".

Euro zone industrial output declined in February, against market expectations of a slight increase, largely due a sharp drop in energy production, dampening prospects for robust economic growth.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.50 per cent to 842.41 tonnes on Tuesday from 838.26 tonnes on Monday.

London's gold price benchmark fixed some $12 below the spot price on Tuesday afternoon as the auction appeared to become locked in a downward spiral.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd plans to launch Hong Kong and London gold contracts by June or July this year, Chief Executive Charles Li had said on Tuesday.

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Published on April 12, 2017
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