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Gold surges to seven-year high following US-Iran standoff

By Lawrence Gash

Investors flock to safe-haven metals

The ratcheting up of tensions between the United States and Iran has caused the price of gold to spike to its highest point in seven years.

By mid-morning trading spot gold almost broke $1,580.00 (£1,200.00, €1410.00) per troy ounce for the first time since 2013 and currently stands at $1576.80, a 3.42 per cent gain. This latest surge accounts for the majority of the yellow metal’s 4.47 per cent rise in the past 30 days.

Investors flock to gold during times of geopolitical uncertainty as it is a fungible safe haven asset. The American assassination of the leading Iranian general Qassem Suleimani has put peace in the Middle East on a knife-edge.

Speaking at Suleimani’s state funeral, General Esmail Ghaani, the new leader of the elite Quds Force, stated: “God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger. Certainly actions will be taken.”

With the Iraqi parliament voting in favour of a motion demanding all American forces leave Iraq and Muqtada al-Sadr – who led the anti-American Shiite resistance following the invasion of 2003 – reactivating his Mahdi Army, gold looks set to continue its rise in the weeks to come.

Silver, which is closely linked to the gold price, has also gained in the past 24 hours, up 1.80 per cent to $18.39 per troy ounce. The worsening of relations between the US and Iran has seen the metal gain 9.29 per cent in the past 30 days.

Spot Palladium has also surged to its highest point on record. The metal which one week ago stood at $1,907.80 currently stands at $2,027.94, gaining 2.03 per cent in the last day.

The metal is essential in the production of catalytic converters. The threat to global shipping posed by the latest stand-off between Iran and the US comes just days after major power cuts across South Africa severely damaged global Palladium output.

In the past 24 hours US president Donald Trump has defended his rhetoric and vowed to target Iranian cultural sites “VERY FAST AND VERY HARD”, should Iran respond militarily.

With the leader of the world’s foremost military threatening to carry out what is widely recognised as a war crime, it is possible that safe-haven metals will outdo Monday’s gains later in the week.

FURTHER READING: US drone strike kills Iran's General Qassem Suleimani

FURTHER READING: How Middle East conflicts have affected oil markets in the past

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