Gold prices shot up to a seven-year high above $1,600 per ounce after tensions escalated in the Middle East. Following the U.S. killing of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, Iran responded by firing short-range missiles at Iraq bases housing U.S. troops last Tuesday (1/7). Investors fled into “safe-haven assets,” such as gold, as a wider war with Iran loomed (see the following chart).
“No casualties were immediately reported in the strikes,” reports CNBC. On Wednesday, President Trump said Iran appeared to be “standing down,” adding that the U.S. would “immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”
“The president’s comments pressured safe havens such as gold as investors flocked back into riskier assets,” says CNBC. Gold prices pulled back to close the week at $1,560 per ounce.
The potential for more tension in the Middle East still exists, and the same safe-haven features that led investors to flee into gold during last week’s events may be a good reason for investors to increase their allocations to gold for the longer term as well.
Rick Andrews is president of Avant Capital Management.