Gold Falls and Oil Prices Concerned with Rising Tensions in the Middle East

Gold prices fell on Thursday’s trading session from an 11-week high, as the dollar rose and investors turned to profit-taking. However, growing tensions over a military escalation in Syria are preventing more casualties.

President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria, in response to an alleged chemical attack, saying the missiles were “coming” and criticizing Moscow for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Spot gold dropped by 1.09%, to trade at $1.387 an ounce, after four consecutive sessions of gains. Gold fell in American contracts futures by 1.4%, to trade at $1,340 an ounce. The precious metal hit the price of $1.365 an ounce in the previous session, its highest since January 25, before easing gains on expectations of faster US interest rate increases, after the release of the minutes of the Fed’s latest monetary policy meeting.

Gold also received some support thanks to continuing fears of a US-China trade war. China will not hesitate to respond if the United States escalates its trade dispute with Beijing, declaring that President Xi’s pledge to reduce import duties is not a concession to the United States.

Among other precious metals, spot silver fell 1.01%, to trade at $ 16.46 an ounce. Platinum rose by 0.3% to $928.90 an ounce, while palladium fell by 1.5%, reaching $949.80 an ounce. Palladium has jumped more than 6 percent this week amid fears that supplies from Russia, the world’s biggest metals producer, could be hurt by US sanctions.

Separately, oil markets remained tense on Thursday amid fears of a military escalation in Syria, although prices remained below Wednesday’s high, the highest level since late 2014, as the abundance of US supplies weighed on the market. Traders say that trade disputes between the United States and China have kept the market anxious.

Brent crude futures rose to $72.14 a barrel, a 0.1% increase from the previous close. WTI futures rose to $67.03 a barrel, increasing by 0.3% from the previous settlement price.

In China, Shanghai crude futures also rose to 427.1 yuan ($68.03) a barrel, rising by 2.1 percent, on record volumes for contracts launched in late March. Brent and Western Texas Intermediate crude hit their highest level since late 2014 on Wednesday, at $73.09 and $67.45 a barrel.


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