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Gold at 4-Month High After U.S. Strike on Iran General, $1,600 Likely

Investing.com - Gold prices jumped their most in a day since the end of August, hitting four-month highs that could propel the market toward the $1,600 per ounce level after a deadly U.S. airstrike against an Iranian general.

Gold futures for February delivery on New York’s COMEX settled up $24.30, or 1.6%, at $1,552.40 per ounce after the drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander who led Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force. Tehran has vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death, which President Donald Trump ordered.

It hit a session high of $1,556.05, a peak since Sept 6. The 1.6% jump on COMEX gold was also the most in a day since Aug. 23. The yellow metal is also less than a 1% gain away from its highest price since April 2013, putting it at a potential six-year high even before it reaches the $1,600 level.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion, was up $19.37, or 1.3%, at $1,548.22 by 3:30 PM ET (20:30 GMT), after a peak at $1,553.53 earlier.

Gold prices jumped about 2% in total over the past two sessions, resulting in similar gains on the week for bullion and futures on COMEX.

Gold typically rallies on political and economic troubles. Iran and the United States have have seen heightened tensions since Trump canceled in 2018 a global nuclear deal Tehran had signed with Washington and other global powers and reinstituted sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

"We took action last night to stop a war. We do not take action to start a war," Trump said in a televised address on Friday.

Pantheon Macroeconomics Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson said sensitive assets such as oil and gold could rally further from the U.S. escalation of the conflict.

"Our base case here is that a full-blown war between the U.S. and Iran is unlikely, though we appreciate the old adage that nothing brings a country together more effectively than an external threat," Shepherdson said.

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