Gold briefly surged above $2,000 an ounce Sunday night, as Russia’s unprovoked attack of Ukraine saw fresh escalation and Western countries weighed leveling further sanctions on the Kremlin.
In electronic trade, gold
hit a Sunday peak at $2,005.20 an ounce before pulling back, after April futures
for the precious metal on Friday put in a weekly gain of 4.2%, which was the largest such rise for a most-active contract since July 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
At last check, gold was up 1.4% to around $1,994.40 an ounce.
Sunday’s rise for bullion put it at around highs not seen since August 2020, according to FactSet data.
Russian forces have killed scores of civilians in cities including Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis, as the military heads toward the capital of Kyiv, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the White House is considering a coordinated embargo of oil out of Russia, one of the largest producers of crude. That comes as Western nations aim to cripple Russia’s economy in response to its belligerence in Ukraine, which has so far resulted in “selected” Russian banks being removed from SWIFT, the international payment network through which almost all financial information flows.
Cease-fire talks are scheduled to be conducted on Monday, but reports indicate a low likelihood of a breakthrough that would see an end to the conflict that has drawn the world’s attention.
Against that backdrop, gold has gotten a lift despite concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve, and other central banks, will be forced to lift benchmark interest rates rapidly to combat a surge in inflation across the globe, which is expected to be amplified by the conflict in Eastern Europe.