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Gold gains on safe-haven demand as Iraqi unrest escalates

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Gold futures rose on Thursday after unrest in Iraq threatened to erupt into outright civil war, which bolstered the yellow metal's safe-haven appeal, while soft U.S. economic indicators supported prices as well.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at 1,274.40 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 1.05%, up from a session low of $1,260.10 and off a high of $1,275.00.

The August contract settled up 0.09% at $1,261.20 on Wednesday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,250.10 a troy ounce, Tuesday's low, and resistance at $1,294.70, the high from May 27.

Iraqi insurgents linked to al-Qaeda reportedly took full control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Thursday and advanced closer to the capital, Baghdad.

On Wednesday, militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seized the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit, fueling concerns the conflict could hamper global recovery, which weakened the dollar.

Gold and the dollar tend to trade inversely with one another.

The U.S. said that it is working with Iraq's leaders on a coordinated response to regain lost territory.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said Iraq would need assistance from the U.S. to push the insurgents back.

Soft U.S. economic indicators supported gold as well.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in May, missing expectations for a 0.6% gain. However, retail sales for April were revised up to a 0.5% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.1%.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, eased up 0.1% in May, disappointing forecasts for a 0.2% increase. Core sales in April were revised up to 0.4% from a previously reported flat reading.

Separately, the Labor Department reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 7 increased by 4,000 to 317,000, confounding expectations for a decline of 3,000.

Meanwhile, silver for July delivery was up 1.83% at $19.523 a troy ounce, while copper futures for July delivery were down 0.86% at $3.015 a pound.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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