Gold prices rally past $2,400 on reports of Israel strikes on Iran

April 19, 2024 3:53 AM EDT Gold prices surged in Asian trade on Friday, coming close to record highs after reports of Israeli strikes on Iran ramped up demand for safe havens, especially in the face of worsening conditions in the Middle East.

Spot gold rose as high as $2,417.79 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in June rose as far as $2,433.0 an ounce. Spot prices were just below record highs of $2,430.96 an ounce hit last week.

Iran-Israel escalation in focus after reports of explosions across Iran

Multiple media reports, including those from Iranian news agencies, show explosions across several parts of Iran, Syria and Iraq. Multiple U.S. news outlets reported U.S. officials saying that Israel had struck back against Iran over an attack last week.

Of particular concern were explosions in the city of Isfahan, which is located near several Iranian nuclear facilities.

Iran had earlier this week warned Israel against attacking its nuclear sites, and that it could even reconsider building nuclear weapons in such a scenario.

Gold prices head for weekly gains on safe haven demand.

Fears of a worsening conflict in the Middle East sparked a broad safe haven rush into gold, helping the yellow metal rise despite recent warnings on higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates.

The dollar rose sharply after the Iran-Israel news, but this appeared to have little bearing on gold prices.

Friday’s gains put gold prices on course for strong weekly gains, with spot prices up around 3% over the past seven days.

This week also marked gold’s fourth consecutive week of gains, as safe haven demand remained underpinned by worsening geopolitical conditions in the Middle East.

Other precious metals also rose sharply after news of the strikes on Friday. Platinum futures rose 0.9% to $958.10 an ounce, while silver futures rose 1.1% to $28.70 an ounce.

Industrial metals upbeat on tighter supply outlook

Among industrial metals, copper and aluminum prices rose to new 2024 peaks on Friday, buoyed by the prospect of tighter supplies after the U.S. intensified its sanctions in Russian metal exports.

Three-month copper futures rose 0.5% to $9,799.0 a ton,while one-month copper futures rose 0.3% to $4.4445 a pound. Both contracts were at their strongest levels since May 2022.

Aluminum futures rose 1.3% to $2,651.0 a ton, and were at their highest level since Jan 2023.

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