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Gold hits high as Iran shock triggers haven support

LONDON (AFP) – The price of gold hit a record high yesterday as the shock death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash boosted support for the precious metal seen as a haven investment.

Copper also struck an all-time peak and silver jumped to the highest level in more than 11 years – with markets generally gaining from a brighter economic outlook. Gold had already hit a series of record highs this year.

Asian and European stock markets began the week higher, having recently struck all-time peaks along with indices on Wall Street.

The metals are priced in the dollar, which has come under pressure recently from expectations that the United States (US) Federal Reserve will soon start to cut interest rates as inflation cools. Gold struck a record USD2,450.07 an ounce yesterday, while copper’s all-time high stood at USD11,104 per tonne.

Raisi was confirmed dead yesterday after search and rescue teams found his crashed helicopter in a fog-shrouded western mountain region, sparking mourning in the country.

“Gold and copper have hit record highs, (and) silver jumped to an 11-year high… after the death of Iran’s president in a helicopter crash,” noted Finalto trading group’s Chief Market Analyst Neil Wilson.

“There is a clear geopolitical premium since October 7th,” he said, adding that “expectations the Fed will cut rates soon is helping”.

Analysts said market sentiment was boosted additionally by China’s plan to support its property sector. The positive start to the week for equities came after Wall Street’s Dow index ended above 40,000 points for the first time on Friday.

Oil prices dipped after initially jumping on the Iran news. Investors are looking to the release tomorrow of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s May policy decision, hoping for some insight into the thinking of decision-makers.

The release comes after data last week showed US inflation easing in April, reviving hopes the central bank would cut interest rates twice this year.

The New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: AP