Gold prices experienced a significant surge of over 1% on Monday in response to the dramatic clashes between Israeli and Hamas forces over the weekend. The intensifying conflict in the Middle East has heightened concerns of a broader regional confrontation and prompted investors to seek refuge in safe-haven assets, including gold.
Spot gold rallied by 1% to reach $1,849.90 per ounce as of 0753 GMT, marking its highest level in a week. U.S. gold futures mirrored this uptrend, climbing by 1.1% to $1,864.50.
City Index Senior Analyst Matt Simpson commented on the situation, stating, “Gold has regained its safe-haven status following the geopolitical events over the weekend. We see the potential for gold to head for $1,880, but unless we see bond yields move materially lower, I doubt it can break $1,900 any time soon.”
The escalating violence between Israel and Hamas has the potential to trigger a major new conflict in the Middle East. This prospect has pushed oil prices higher and bolstered demand for safe-haven assets, including U.S. Treasuries, the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, and notably, gold.
Gold rebounded sharply from its seven-month lows, which were reached just last Friday. However, its upward trajectory remains constrained by robust U.S. economic data, which has reinforced the belief that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to halt its monetary policy tightening cycle in the near future.
Recent data revealed a significant increase in U.S. employment in September, the most significant rise in eight months, signaling ongoing strength in the labor market. The possibility of another U.S. interest rate hike this year looms, particularly if there is a high inflation print later in the week.
Higher U.S. interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, a non-interest-bearing asset. Investors are also closely watching the release of the minutes from the U.S. central bank’s September meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.
In addition to gold, other precious metals saw mixed movements. Spot silver gained 0.3% to reach $21.66 per ounce, platinum advanced by 0.6% to $881.91, while palladium fell 0.4% to $1,152.96.
As the situation in the Middle East continues to unfold, gold prices are expected to remain sensitive to geopolitical developments, providing investors with a safe-haven option amid increasing uncertainty in the region.