Gold falls as Crimea vote goes smoothly, shrugs off U.S. sanctions

A A A - - Gold prices traded lower on Monday after Crimea voted to join Russia and leave Ukraine on Sunday with no widespread violence, while sanctions slapped on Russia by the West were viewed as less intense than expected, which sent the yellow metal slumping.

Gold has served as a safe haven of choice during the Ukraine crisis.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded at $1,366.90 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, down 0.88%, up from a session low of $1,362.50 and off a high of $1,392.50.

The April contract settled up 0.48% at $1,379.00 on Friday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,328.20 a troy ounce, the low from March 10, and resistance at $1,393.80, the high from Sept. 8.

Investors continued to monitor events in Europe, after over 90% of Crimean voters on Sunday chose to break with Ukraine and join Russia. Crimea's Parliament on Monday formally asked to join the Russian Federation.

Sanctions followed as expected.

European Union foreign ministers imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people they have linked to the push to have Crimea secede from Ukraine and be annexed by Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama also imposed sanctions on several Russian officials involved in the incursion of Crimea, which included freezing assets in the U.S.

Still, markets were expecting more widespread action from the West, and the response enticed investors away from safe-haven gold positions.

Investors also took hit-or-miss U.S. economic indicators in stride.

Data revealed earlier that U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in February, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% gain. Industrial production in January was revised to a 0.2% fall from a previously estimated 0.3% decline.

In a separate report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its Empire State manufacturing index ticked up to 5.6 this month from 4.5 in February, missing expectations for a rise to 6.0.

Meanwhile, silver for May delivery was down 0.90% at US$21.220 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery were up 0.08% at US$2.953 a pound. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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