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Gold edges higher as Middle East tensions lift safe-haven appetite

Tuesday,   16-Apr-2024   08:57 AM (IST)

Gold prices ticked up on Tuesday, hovering near record-high levels, as fears of escalating tensions in the Middle East drove investors towards the safe-haven metal. Spot gold edged up 0.1 per cent at US$2,383.37 per ounce, as at 0103 GMT. Bullion hit an all-time high of 2,431.29 on Friday. US gold futures rose 0.7 per cent to US$2,400.00 per ounce. Israelis awaited word on how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would respond to Iran’s first-ever direct attack on their country, as international pressure for restraint grew amid fears of an escalation of conflict in the Middle East. US retail sales increased more than expected in March amid a surge in receipts at online retailers, further evidence that the economy ended the first quarter on solid ground. San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank president Mary Daly said there’s no urgency to cut interest rates, with the economy and labour market strong, and inflation still above the Fed’s 2 per cent target. Higher interest rates reduce the appeal of holding non-yielding gold. US economic growth is emerging as a key prop for an ongoing global expansion, but spillovers from persistently high inflation and tight monetary policy could pose new risks to an expected “soft landing” around the world. The State Bank of Vietnam will restart gold bar auctions after an 11-year suspension, amid efforts to increase the supply of the precious metal to the market. Spot silver fell 0.1 per cent to US$28.86 per ounce, platinum rose 0.8 per cent to US$969.70 and palladium lost 0.8 per cent at US$1,027.06.