Safe-haven demand lifts gold price to $2,400, silver price to 3-year high

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Gold reached another milestone on Friday by surpassing $2,400 an ounce for the first time ever, as support for safe haven assets remains firm on rising tensions in the Middle East.

Spot gold hit a record high $2,400.59 per ounce during the early trading hours, before pulling back to $2,395.44 per ounce for a 0.9% gain by 8:45 a.m. EDT.

Three-month US gold futures also jumped 1.7% at $2,413.30 per ounce in New York.

The surge follows reports that Israel is preparing for an assault from Iran in the next two days, in retaliation for its strike on the country’s diplomatic compound in Syria last week.

The underlying reason, as explained in a post on X by Bloomberg columnist Mohamed A. El-Erian, is that investors find gold to be a better hedge against geopolitical risk than government bonds.

Bullion has been on a tear in recent weeks, rising by nearly 20% since mid-February. Alongside safe-haven demand for the metal, purchases by central banks have also played a big part in its rise.

Traders have also been assessing the scope for rate cuts from the Federal Reserve in 2024, although still-strong inflation prints from the US have recently muddied that outlook.

Still, the longer-term outlook for gold remains optimistic, with Swiss bank UBS leading the way with a $2,500 an ounce prediction.

Another beneficiary of gold’s rally is its sister metal silver, which traded at the highest since February 2021. At press time, the metal was up 2.7% to $29.28 per ounce.

(With files from Bloomberg)