Gold Advances for Third Time in Four Sessions on Ukraine Crisis

Jul 21, 2014 2:43 pm ET

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures rose for the third time in four sessions as mounting tension over Ukraine boosted demand for haven assets.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday that circumstantial evidence suggests Russia provided the missile that Ukrainian rebels used to shoot down a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane. European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels tomorrow will consider tougher sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.

Gold has climbed 9.4 percent this year, touching a 16-week high of $1,346.80 an ounce on July 10, amid escalating turmoil in Ukraine and the Middle East. A gauge of global equities fell today as Russian stocks dropped for the sixth straight session amid intensifying international pressure on President Vladimir Putin. Demand for haven assets also climbed as violence in the Gaza Strip intensified.

“Escalation of sanctions on Russia and more geopolitical problems in Gaza are keeping gold supported,” George Gero, a vice president and precious-metals strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said in a telephone interview. “There are enough fundamentals to keep prices over $1,300 for some time.”

Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $1,315.50 at 1:37 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Trading was 30 percent below the average in the past 100 days for this time, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Rally Snapped

Last week, gold dropped 2 percent amid speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates. The decline snapped a run of six straight gains, the longest rally since August 2011.

In 2013, the metal tumbled 28 percent, the most in three decades, after equities rallied to a record and the Fed tapered monetary stimulus as the economy showed signs of improvement.

Silver futures for September delivery rose 0.6 percent to $21.012 an ounce on the Comex.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1,493.40 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery fell 0.5 percent to $877.15 an ounce.

This year, palladium jumped 22 percent, platinum gained 8.7 percent and silver is up 8.5 percent.

Russia is the top source of palladium, used mostly in pollution-control devices in vehicles.