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Gold Advances as Ukraine Tension Fuels Haven Demand

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Gold futures rose, heading for the longest rally in six weeks, as escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine spurred demand for haven assets.

The Group of Seven nations are preparing new measures against Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after the U.S. accused Russia of trying to impose its will on Ukraine at "the barrel of a gun and force of a mob." Gold reached a six-month high in March after Russia annexed Crimea, and hostilities this week spurred traders to unwind bets on a drop.

"The market has gotten very nervous over this situation," Bill O'Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview. "What we're seeing here is some recent shorts, based on technical selling, have come back to cover their positions."

Gold futures for June delivery rose 0.9 percent to $1,301.70 an ounce at 11:27 a.m. on the Comex in New York, heading for a third straight gain that would mark the longest rally since March 14. Prices climbed 0.7 percent in the previous two sessions.

The metal has risen 8.3 percent this year, partly as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine fueled demand. In China, volumes for the benchmark spot gold contract in Shanghai rose to a two-month high yesterday.
SPDR Holdings

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the largest exchange-traded product backed by the metal, were unchanged for a third day yesterday at 792.14 metric tons.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery rose 1.2 percent to $811.55 an ounce. Russia is the world's biggest producer of the metal used in catalytic converters to reduce automobile emissions.

Platinum futures for July delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $1,426.10 an ounce. The largest platinum companies said they will put their latest pay offer directly to striking South African workers, bypassing their union after talks to end the 13-week walkout failed.

Silver futures for July delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to $19.715 an ounce on the Comex.

To contact the reporters on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in New York at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Glenys Sim in Singapore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Millie Munshi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Joe Richter, Patrick McKiernan