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Gold Extends Gains On Rising Tensions In Middle East

Gold extended upside toward the toward the $2,000-an-ounce level on Friday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell endorsed neutral interest rates.

Traders shrugged off higher U.S. bond yields amid signs of escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Spot gold rose half a percent to $1,983.65 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.8 percent at $1,995.65.

In his final public remarks before next month’s rate decision, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday adopted a neutral stance on near-term rate hikes.

He indicated the need for further rate rises but said the recent surge in bond yields, as well as the lag effect of past policy tightening, are having their desired impact.

Meanwhile, as Israel prepares for a ground assault on Gaza, the United States said it is seeing an uptick in attacks on its military bases in Iraq and Syria.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the risk of regional spill over from the Israel-Hamas war is “real.”

Israeli defense minister has ordered ground troops to prepare to see Gaza “from the inside”, though he didn’t indicate when the ground assault would begin.

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