Gold futures capped a second straight weekly gain as escalating violence in Iraq boosted demand for the precious metal as a haven. Silver posted the longest rally in almost four months.
Crude oil jumped to the highest in more than eight months on concern that a civil war looms in Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer. Gold gained 6 percent this year, partly because of escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
“We are seeing some flight to safety because of the Iraq issue,” George Gero, a vice president and precious-metals strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said in a telephone interview.
Gold futures for August delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1,274.10 an ounce at 1:41 p.m. on the Comex in New York, capping a fifth straight gain and the longest rally in three months. The price today reached $1,277.60, and rose 1.7 percent this week.
Trading was 45 percent below the average for the past 100 days for this time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while the 60-day historical volatility fell to the lowest since April 2013.
Silver futures for July delivery rose 0.6 percent to $19.655 an ounce. The price climbed for the fifth straight session, the longest rally since Feb. 18.
On the Nymex, platinum futures for July delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,435 an ounce.
Yesterday, the price tumbled 2.7 percent as mining companies and union officials in South Africa agreed on a wage pact to present to workers in a bid to end a 20-week strike that has crippled output. The nation is the world’s largest platinum producer and second-biggest for palladium.
Palladium futures for September dropped 0.8 percent to $812.60 an ounce. Yesterday, the price plunged 4.7 percent, the most in 11 months. Russia is the top producer.
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