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Gold gains as Ukraine crisis continues to heat up

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold prices jumped up on Wednesday on concerns the Ukraine crisis continues to escalate and weaken the dollar should the U.S. get more involved in the conflict, while upbeat wholesale pricing data also boosted the yellow metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery traded at 1,305.60 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 0.83%, up from a session low of $1,291.70 and off a high of $1,309.10.

The June contract settled down 0.08% at $1,294.80 on Tuesday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,278.30 a troy ounce, Monday's low, and resistance at $1,314.70, the high from May 7.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Ukraine was "as close to civil war as you can get" and urged all sides to find a solution, which sent gold prices higher on fears skirmishes in the country will escalate.

The dollar often weakens as the Ukraine crisis heats up on concerns that Washington will slap more and tougher sanctions on Russia, which could slow recovery, as many U.S. businesses depend on Europe for growth.

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

Elsewhere, a rebounding euro took the steam out of the dollar, which also supported gold.

Expectations for the European Central Bank to loosen policy next month have largely been priced into trading, which gave the euro room to rise and the dollar to stand down, often a recipe for higher gold prices.

Reuters reported earlier that the ECB is preparing a "package of measures" including cuts to all interest rates, with negative rates on bank deposits to encourage lending to small and medium-sized businesses to spur recovery.

A day earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported the German central bank Bundesbank would back monetary easing measures, including a negative rate on bank deposits and purchases of packaged bank loans, if such tools were needed to keep persistently low levels of inflation from becoming entrenched in the euro zone.

Last week, ECB President Mario Draghi said monetary authorities were "comfortable" with acting at its next meeting in June.

Meanwhile, silver for July delivery was up 1.23% at $19.788 a troy ounce, while copper futures for July delivery were up 0.68% at $3.157 a pound. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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