Gold advances as Middle East tensions fuel appetite for safe havens

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Gold advances as Middle East tensions fuel appetite for safe havens

Gold prices rose on Tuesday, hovering near record highs, as fears of escalating tensions in the Middle East pushed investors toward the safe-haven metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold edged up 0.1% to $2,383.37 an ounce at 0103 GMT. Bullion hit an all-time high of 2,431.29 on Friday.

* US gold futures rose 0.7% to $2,400.00 an ounce.

* Israelis have been waiting to hear 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 escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.

* U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in March amid rising revenue at online retailers, further evidence that the economy finished the first quarter on strong footing. * San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said there was no urgency to cut interest rates, given the strong economy and job market and inflation still above the Fed’s 2% target. * Higher interest rates reduce the attractiveness of holding gold without yield.

* US economic growth is emerging as a key part of an ongoing global expansion, but the fallout from still-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, as part of efforts to increase the supply of the precious metal in the market.

* Spot silver fell 0.1% to $28.86 an ounce, platinum rose 0.8% to $969.70 and palladium lost 0.8% to 1,027.06 $.

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