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Bullion for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.6 percent to $1,374.69 an ounce, the highest level since Sept. 19, advancing for a third day. The metal traded at $1,372.65 at 9:55 a.m. in Singapore and is poised for a sixth weekly increase.
The precious metal advanced 14 percent this year as demand for a store of value increased on the confrontation in Ukraine and concern that growth in China is slowing. Crimea is preparing for a March 16 referendum that may pave the way for the Ukrainian region to join Russia. Barack Obama met Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk yesterday and said that the U.S. stood with Ukraine to protect its sovereignty and territory.
“Gold should be supported as long as the situation in Ukraine remains uncertain,” said Zhu Siquan, an analyst at GF Futures Co., a unit of the Guangzhou-based company that bought Natixis Commodity Markets Ltd. “Technically, gold is starting to look a bit overbought.”
Gold’s 14-day relative strength index climbed yesterday to near 70, signaling to those who study charts that prices may be set to reverse. It was at 70.7 today. Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust declined yesterday from the highest level this year, contracting for the first time since Feb. 19.
The confrontation in Ukraine has become the biggest between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War, with U.S. President Obama and allies ratcheting up the threat of sanctions. Government officials and businessmen in Russia are readying for trade curbs resembling those applied to Iran, according to four people with knowledge of the preparations.
Ukraine warned yesterday that Russia is massing troops near its border. Crimea can be integrated into Russia within two months if its voters decide the territory should cease to be a part of Ukraine, the region’s Premier Sergei Aksenov said.
Bullion rebounded this year even as the Federal Reserve, which next meets March 18-19, announced reductions to its bond-buying program at each of its past two meetings. Data today may show retail spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy, rose 0.2 percent in February on-month.
Gold for April delivery climbed as much as 0.3 percent to $1,374.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the highest price since Sept. 19, and was at $1,372.60.
Silver for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.8 percent to $21.469 an ounce and was at $21.3833. Platinum was at $1,476.25 an ounce from $1,475.50 yesterday, while palladium was at $775.75 from $776.08.
Production losses at the world’s largest platinum companies caused by a seven-week strike yesterday eclipsed those from stoppages in 2012 as talks over pay with the South African union leading the walkout remain deadlocked.
To contact the reporter on this story: Glenys Sim in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at email@example.com Jake Lloyd-Smith, Jarrett Banks