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Gold Surges Again on North Korea Fears, Weaker US Dollar

September 5, 2017 at 16:51 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are climbing higher on the first trading session after the Labor Day holiday weekend. The yellow metal is surging on worries over North Korea’s nuclear posturing, which sent the US dollar lower on Tuesday. Gold prices are now honing in on one-year highs.

December gold futures rose $12.10, or 0.91%, to $1,342.50 per ounce at 16:34 GMT on Tuesday. The precious metal is trading at its best level since September 2016, buoyed by investors seeking a safe-haven asset from the geopolitical risks.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also rallying to kick off the trading week. December silver futures jumped $0.18, or 1.01%, to $18.00 an ounce. This comes as the white metal posted a 2% weekly gain last week.

Wall Street has been rattled by the belligerence of North Korea this summer. Over the weekend, the Kim Jung-un regime conducted its sixth hydrogen bomb test that was described by Pyongyang as a “perfect success.” This occurred a week after North Korea fired a missile over Japan, causing worldwide condemnation. Despite global censure, experts note that the isolated country could launch a new intercontinental ballistic missile this weekend to celebrate the nation’s founding day.

Other investors fear that there might be a US government shutdown as lawmakers debate raising the debt ceiling. President Donald Trump wants to tie an increase to the debt ceiling to other legislation, while other conservative Republicans are hesitant about performing such a measure.

The geopolitical tensions and domestic political turmoil are causing the US dollar to trade lower as the greenback slipped 0.4% on Tuesday. A weaker dollar is good for commodities like gold and silver because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

Meanwhile, traders largely anticipate the US central bank to hold off on any upcoming increases to interest rates. With low inflation levels, international risks, and modest economic data, the Federal Reserve is likely to delay additional rate hikes until the end of the year. Gold is generally sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets.

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