Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gold rises above $1,400/oz as MEast violence spreads

From Reuters:
By Jan Harvey

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose above $1,400 an ounce on Monday for the first time in nearly seven weeks as violence flared in North Africa and the Middle East, boosting interest in the precious metal as a haven from risk.

Tensions have spread from Egypt and Tunisia, where protests unseated leaders earlier this month, across the Middle East and North Africa, threatening the grip of long-entrenched autocratic leaders.

Spot gold rose as high as $1,400.40 an ounce and was bid at $1,399.60 an ounce at 1045 GMT, against $1,388.58 late in New York on Friday. U.S. gold futures for April delivery rose $11.70 an ounce to $1,400.30, having peaked at $1,401.30.

Gold priced in euros hit its highest since Jan. 19 at 1,023.91 euros an ounce, and sterling-priced gold its highest since Jan. 14 at 863.54 pounds an ounce.

"There is no doubt that the recent move higher across the precious metals reflects a degree of safe-haven buying as a result of the unrest in the Middle East," said Daniel Major, an analyst at RBS Global Banking & Markets.

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