Commodities: Geopolitical tensions push gold higher

Gold saw a $10 move higher on Wednesday as tensions mounted between the US and North Korea over comments made by both sides.

Remarks overnight from North Korea were that it was considering an attack on Guam (a US Pacific territory), with Trump firing back, threatening “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

In typical safe haven fashion gold rallied, to hit a two-month high of $1,276 by 1300 BST after opening the London session at $1,265.

By the London close, the precious metal had given up some of those gains to trade up 0.88% on the day at $1,273.

Nitish Shah at ETF Securities said, “We believe continued sabre-rattling … could take gold prices higher still,” adding “There is genuine concern, hence the fall in the dollar, (but) as ever with Trump, it’s unclear how quickly the rest of the U.S. machinery will calm him, so rises are not yet huge.”

Platinum ended the day higher 0.15% at $974 per once with palladium down 0.91%.

In energy markets, oil prices edged higher after the latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a reduction of 6.5m barrels of crude inventories held in the US.

David Thompson of Powerhouse had this to say of the inventories figure, “A drop in crude oil imports and another step up in refinery utilization accounts for the bulk of the decline in crude inventories.”

OPEC officials met this week in Abu Dhabi to boost adherence to the supply cuts. In a statement after the meeting, OPEC said the conclusions reached would boost compliance.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 0.72% at $52.45 per barrel and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) also gained, up 0.54% on the day at $49.48 per barrel.

In base metals, copper was relatively unchanged on the day, up 0.1% to $6,458 per metric tonne.

On the agricultural front, soybeans were up 0.16% at $9.77 per bushel, cotton was down 0.23% at $0.7102 per Lb and corn ended the day higher 0.24%.

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