Will geopolitical unrest spur the metals markets?
''Gold futures rose to the highest in almost three weeks as escalating tensions between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists boosted haven demand.
Ukrainian troops seeking to push back pro-Russian separatists in the city of Slovyansk suffered casualties in a firefight as violence spread from the eastern industrial heartland to the Black Sea gateway of Odessa. Ukrainian Acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in a BBC interview that the conflict is turning into a 'real war.'
Through May 2, gold advanced 8.4 percent this year as the conflict prompted traders to unwind bets on price declines. Ukraine's presidential election is driving another rift between Russia, the European Union and the U.S. as Vladimir Putin's government questions the legitimacy of the May 25 vote.
'Civil unrest in Ukraine has everyone nervous about the integrity of the May 25 elections and the stability of the region,' Steven Scacalossi, the head of global-metal sales at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a note.
Gold futures for June delivery gained 0.7 percent to $1,311.60 an ounce at 10:19 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,315.80, the highest for a most-active contract since April 15.''