Gold rose to fresh six-month highs on Friday and was headed for its biggest weekly gain in four weeks, buoyed by mounting tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, and worries over an economic slowdown in China.
Gold extended gains to a third session on Thursday, scaling fresh six-month highs as investors sought to hedge their bets against geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and economic slowdown fears in China.
Turmoil in Ukraine is driving Middle Eastern grain buyers to shy away from striking new deals there and to consider rival suppliers, a shift that is likely to push up import bills.
The Black Sea region, mostly Ukraine and Russia,
Gold hit a near six-month high on Wednesday, as fears of more corporate defaults in China and the geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia, Ukraine and the West hurt equity markets, boosting the metal's appeal as an insurance against risk.
The Ukraine crisis and economic worries in Latin America have prompted the airline industry to trim $1 billion off its global profit forecast for 2014, the International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday.
Ukraine's Crimea has closed its airspace to commercial flights, five days ahead of a referendum organised by its pro-Russia authorities called to join the Black Sea region to Russia.
A Ukrainian airline plane was turned back o
Germany's Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine's constitution.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Sunday he would go to the United States this week to discuss the standoff with Russia over Ukraine's southern region of Crimea.
"I am going to the United states to hold to
Russia said any US sanctions imposed on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine will boomerang back on the United States and that Crimea has the right to self-determination as armed men tried to seize another Ukrainian military base on the peninsula.
President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered sanctions on people responsible for Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, including travel bans and freezing of their US assets.
U.S. officials said a list of pe