Gold prices surged as risk aversion swept financial markets. Haven-seeking capital flows pushed up Treasury bonds and sent yields lower while the priced-in 2017 Fed rate hike outlook implied in futures markets flattened. This bolstered the relative appeal of non-interest-bearing assets including the yellow metal.
A risk-off mood may continue to translate into gold gains as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Russia, where a diplomatic showdown looks likely after last week’s missile strike against Syria. Indeed, S&P 500 futures are down alongside local bourses in Asian trade, hinting that investors remain on edge.
While Tillerson’s rhetoric hardened at a G7 meeting this week, he also reportedly questioned “why US taxpayers should be interested in Ukraine”. That may hint at a possible bargain that has Russia trading some easing of Ukraine-linked Western pressure for dialing back support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.