higher after Iran fires missile
By Joyce Koh
Gold futures ended with modest
gains Wednesday, as reports that Iran had test
fired a missile boosted the metal's appeal as a
Gold for August delivery gained $5.30 to end at
$928.60 an ounce on the New York Mercantile
Earlier, the contract hit an intraday high of
"Speculators hearing one tilt in Iranian
rhetoric but seeing quite another in its actions
decided that the safer play for the moment is
either not to let go of a larger part of their
positions in the two commodities or to perhaps
buy a few additional units -- just in case,"
said Kitco Bullion Dealers senior analyst Jon
Nadler, referring to traders' appetite for gold
Iran test fired nine missiles earlier Wednesday,
including a new version of the Shahab-3, which
is capable of reaching its main regional enemy
Israel, the BBC reported.
Iran and Israel have engaged in back-and-forth
saber-rattling growing out of Tehran's
controversial plans for developing nuclear
While Iran has tested the Shahab-3 missile in
the past, the latest launch comes as tensions
have been escalating between Iran, the U.S. and
Israel. The U.S. denounced the test and again
urged Iran to abandon its missile program, the
Crude-oil futures ended Wednesday's volatile
trading almost flat, as traders, worried about
slowing demand, continued selling despite a
sharp drop in U.S. inventories and rising
tensions with Iran.
Crude for August delivery ended just 1 cent
higher at $136.05 a barrel on the New York
Mercantile Exchange. See Futures Movers.
On Tuesday, the benchmark gold contract dropped
$5.50 an ounce in Nymex action.
"With commodities as a whole in consolidation
mode, gold looks set to remain under pressure in
the short term," said James Moore, an analyst at
"However, given the mounting inflation concerns
and the risk of further economic slowdown,
investors will continue to look towards the
traditional safe-haven assets favorably," Moore
said in a research note.
The dollar traded mixed Wednesday, feeling some
modest pressure as foreign-exchange traders
showed an appetite for safe-haven currencies.
News about Iran's missile tests earlier had put
the greenback on the defensive, prompting gains
for the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc, said
economists at ABN Amro.