Are Iraq and Iran bullish for gold?
Gold Rises in Asia as Concern Over Iraq War Increases Its Appeal as Haven
"Gold rose in Asia amid concern that the Iraq war and Iran's nuclear ambitions may disrupt securities markets thus enhancing the appeal of bullion as a haven.
Gold advanced 2.4 percent last week, the biggest increase in 10 weeks, after the U.S. on March 16 began its largest attack in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to root out insurgents. The Bush administration last week said Iran and its plan to become a nuclear power are the biggest challenge for the U.S.
``The Iran-Iraq situation is certainly with the market,'' Jonathan Barratt, head of foreign exchange and precious metals at Tricom Futures Pty., said in Sydney. Further flare-ups may ``force'' gold through $557, he said.
Gold for immediate delivery rose as much as $2.19, or 0.4 percent, to $556.29 an ounce at 2:34 p.m. Singapore time.
Gold for delivery in April rose $1.50, or 0.3 percent, to $556.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:33 p.m. in Singapore.
Any decline in the dollar may boost gold as well, Ng Cheng Thye, head of the precious metals markets desk at Standard Bank Asia in Singapore, said in a phone interview today.
A weak dollar boosts gold's appeal as an alternative investment. Sixty-one percent of the 51 traders, strategists and investors surveyed on March 17 from Sydney to New York advised selling the dollar against the euro. Forty-nine percent said the U.S. currency will decline versus the yen."