Gold prices spike higher U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general

January 3, 2020

New York (Jan 3)  Gold prices are sharply higher and hit a four-month high in early U.S. futures trading Friday as the recent geopolitical calm has been shattered by a U.S. military air strike in Baghdad, Iraq that killed a top Iranian general. Silver prices pushed to a two-month high today as safe-haven demand for the precious metals is back in order. February gold futures were last up $20.90 an ounce at 1,548.80. March Comex silver prices were last up $0.179 at $18.225 an ounce.

The Iranian general was killed along with an Iraqi paramilitary leader. The U.S. said Iran was planning to kill Americans in the Middle East. The strike also comes after the major attack on a Saudi oil installation a few months ago, in which the U.S. blamed Iran. Iran has said there will be “harsh” retaliation for the U.S. military action.

Global stock markets plunged on the news and U.S. stocks are set to open the New York day session with strong losses. Other key outside markets today see crude oil prices spiking, hitting a 10-month high and presently trading around $2.25 higher at near $63.40 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index continues its rebound from this week’s multi-month low and is trading moderately up on the day.

The keen uncertainty regarding this situation, including how Iran will respond, is likely to keep the global marketplace on edge for some time to come. That will keep gold and silver prices elevated for at least the near term. China has urged both the U.S. and Iran to use restraint, as China and the U.S. are set to sign a partial trade deal on January 15.

The U.S. military action against Iran overshadows a very busy day for U.S. economic data, including the afternoon release of the FOMC minutes from the last meeting. Traders and investors will glean the FOMC minutes for clues on the future direction and timing of U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy. Other U.S. economic data due for release today includes the ISM New York report on business, the ISM manufacturing report on business, construction spending, the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report and domestic auto industry sales.


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