Gold rallies, European stocks fall after Brussels explosions
Gold prices rallied Tuesday for the first time in four days, while European stocks dropped sharply following explosions at Brussels airport and metro stations in the Belgian capital, which have killed at least 34 people.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down around 0.8% after paring some losses. It was down as much as 1.6% in earlier trade, as Belgium announced it had raised its terrorism threat to its highest level.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index also slid, with the yield on 10-year bunds hitting the lowest in almost two weeks.
Investors worldwide keep reacting to the news as fresh blasts have followed the airport explosion, hitting subway stations located very close to the European Union’s headquarters, country’s transport authorities reported.
As expected, gold prices were moderately higher in early U.S. trading Tuesday, on fresh safe-haven demand. The metal climbed to $1,257.60 an ounce at 4:00 am ET and was last at $1,253.50 an ounce. May Comex silver was last up $0.093 at $15.95 an ounce.
"This is a day of tragedy, a black day," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, branding the bombings as blind, violent and cowardly,” AFP reports.
The seemingly coordinated explosions come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main fugitive in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people last November, was seized in Brussels.
Gold has rallied in recent weeks on the back of potential further rate increases by the U.S. Federal Reserve, but profit taking and a strong US dollar have put pressure on the precious metal over the last few days. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for investors who hold other currency, which pushes the price down.