Metals Stocks: Gold rallies to highs not seen in more than a year as Russia’s Putin orders forces to breakaway regions in Ukraine

Gold jumped in electronic trade to highs not seen in more than a year on Monday evening, as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troop deployments to pro-Moscow, breakaway regions of Ukraine, increasing the threat of a full-scale annexation of the Eastern European country.

Gold prices
on Globex were up 0.6% to around $1,912.10 an ounce, following a 3.1% rise for the precious metal on Friday, based on the most-active April contract
—marking the steepest weekly rise since May of 2021. At its current levels, the contract is near highs not seen since January 2021.

Putin’s order for sending troops into Ukraine comes after Russia earlier said it was recognizing the independence of separatist factions in Donetsk and Luhansk Ukraine, breakaway areas in the Donbas region.

Growing political tensions in Eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine have helped to underpin gains in precious metals, which are perceived as havens during geopolitical conflict. Gold values on Thursday hit their highest levels in about eight months, but ended lower on Friday, heading into the three-day weekend, with U.S. markets closed in observance of Presidents Day.

Read: What a Russian invasion of Ukraine would mean for markets

The moves by Putin drew a swift rebuke from the international community, with the White House saying that President Joe Biden will issue an executive order that “will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons’’ in those areas.

Meanwhile, officials from the European Union described Putin’s latest actions and statements as “a blatant violation of international law.”

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