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Gold rises as investors seek safety after US-led strikes on Syria

Gold rises as investors seek safety after US-led strikes on Syria

Mon Apr 16 2018


Gold prices rose on Monday on safe-haven buying following the US-led missile strikes against Syria at the weekend, but the gains were limited by the likelihood that the operation may be a one-off event.


Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,347.84 an ounce at 0316 GMT after an initial dip. US gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,350.60 an ounce.


Forces from the United States, Britain and France had pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons.


US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called the strikes a “one time shot,” but Trump raised the prospect of further strikes if Assad's government again uses chemical weapons.


“Gold prices are biased upwards in the short-term as gold is still seen as a safe-haven asset amid tensions over Syria, US-Russia sanctions and trade war,” said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.


Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.


Gold has risen more than 3 per cent this year, buoyed by international trade and geopolitical disputes and volatility in equities, but the metal has yet to emerge from a tight trading range in the face of an expectation for rising US interest rates, traders say.


Speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold contracts by 363 contracts to 138,212 contracts in the week to April 10, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.


Dealers trimmed their short position in silver by 3,187 contracts to 36,417 contracts, the data showed. Silver gained 0.3 per cent at $16.68 per ounce, while platinum was down 0.1 per cent at $926.74 an ounce.


Palladium was 0.2 per cent higher at $988.80 per ounce after hitting a 3-week high of $990.50 on Friday. Prices rose 9.6 per cent last week, its biggest weekly gain since January 2017.



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