Gold breaks $1,300 for the first time since November 2016 on geopolitical uncertainty

Courtney Goldsmith
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Gold bars are displayed at Shinhan Bank
Gold was buoyed by uncertainty in the US and Barcelona today (Source: Getty)

Gold prices have risen to the highest level since November last year as investors shift away from risky assets in the wake of geopolitical uncertainty.

Futures for the yellow metal rose to $1,303.90 per ounce late this morning, while spot gold remained just below $1,300 per ounce.

"The market’s attitude to risk has been highly volatile over the past fortnight, with the shift towards treasuries, gold, and the yen highlighting the anxiety evident of late," said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

"Much of this seems to centre on Donald Trump’s erratic leadership, with the US going from crisis to crisis."

Last week, gold and other safe haven assets shot up as Trump escalated a war of words with North Korea, but investors moved back to riskier assets like equities after tensions eased somewhat.

Then, earlier this week a protest by white supremacists in Charlottesville left one woman dead. A number of executives and politicians have criticised Trump over his weak response to the situation.

Top chiefs also disband advisory councils to the President.

"As much as traders hope to plan ahead, there is no telling what crisis Trump will create from one week to the next," Mahony added.

Mihir Kapadia chief executive and founder of Sun Global Investments, added that the markets were sombre this morning due to concerns over the terrorist attack in Barcelona last night.

"As equities and risky bond markets started off on a back foot In Asia, London’s shares face more sharp losses today, with the FTSE100 down one per cent," Kapadia said.

"As expected, gold is trending higher as investors scramble for safe haven assets in the wake of the current uncertainties."

At the time of writing, gold futures traded 0.7 per cent higher at $1,301.40 per ounce, according to Bloomberg data.

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