Gold rallied to the highest in almost five months, breaking through a key technical level, after the U.S. launched a missile strike against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The metal extended gains after a report showed the American economy added fewer jobs than economists expected.
As part of a rush to haven assets, spot gold climbed as much as 1.5 percent to $1,270.87 an ounce in New York, the highest since Nov. 10. It broke through the 200-day moving price average, indicating upward momentum. The metal is heading for a fourth straight weekly rise and has climbed more than 10 percent this year.
The decision to strike Syria marks a reversal for U.S. President Donald Trump, who during his campaign faulted past leaders for getting embroiled in conflicts in the Middle East. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that “steps are under way” to mobilize a coalition to remove Assad, a Russian ally. The American attack was condemned as an “act of aggression against a sovereign state” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There’s clearly an element of risk aversion in the market, so you have buying of gold,” said Georgette Boele, a currency strategist at ABN Amro Bank NV in Amsterdam. The metal has been close to the 200-day moving average for some time and “needed something like this to break through. This could be the beginning of a new positive phase for gold.”
Miners were boosted by the rise in gold, with Randgold Resources Ltd. leading the U.K.’s benchmark FTSE 100 Index Friday with a 3.4 percent rise.
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