Gold reacts to Ukraine provocation

Gold futures(COMEX:GCU4) jumped the most in almost three weeks in New York as signs of escalating tension between Ukraine and Russia fueled demand for precious metals as a haven.

NATO said there’s a risk of Russia sending troops into Ukraine under the “pretext” of a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission after President Vladimir Putin massed soldiers on his country’s western border. The MSCI All-Country World Index of equities fell as much as 0.6 percent.

Gold prices climbed 6.9 percent this year through yesterday as tensions in Eastern Europe and violence in the Middle East renewed investor interest in the metal. Bullion’s 2014 rally has beat gains for broad measures of stocks, Treasuries and commodities. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by the metal advanced in five of the past six weeks.

“The Russian troops moving into Ukraine has boosted gold’s safe-haven premium,” David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The weakness in the equity market is also pushing some people toward gold.”

Gold futures for December delivery(COMEX:GCZ4) rose 1.4 percent to $1,303 an ounce at 8:59 a.m. on the Comex in New York, heading for the biggest gain for a most-active contract since July 17.

Prices reached $1,306.80 today, the highest since July 29. The metal tumbled 28 percent in 2013, the most in three decades, after some investors lost their faith in the metal as a store of value amid an equity rally and as inflation remained muted.

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