Gold futures gained on Tuesday to a 10-week high on speculation that increased tensions over Iran's nuclear program will boost investment demand for the precious metal as a hedge against inflation. Silver also gained while dollar dropped against international counterparts.
Gold for August delivery rose $16.20 to finish the session at $944.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed as high as $948.50 earlier in the session.
Crude oil for August delivery rose 97 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $140.97 a barrel at 2:58 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have almost doubled from a year ago. Yesterday, oil touched a record $143.67, following media reports that Israel is likely to attack Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer.
Almost a quarter of the world's oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway between Iran and Oman at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Crude-oil prices remain in the driver's seat in the markets and are still seen as the primary factor impacting the dollar, gold, stocks and readings on inflation,'' Jon Nadler, a senior analyst at Kitco Bullion Dealers.
Also on the Nymex, Silver climbed with September futures up 78 cents, or 4.5%, to close at $18.29 an ounce after touching $18.30, the contract's loftiest level since May 26.
July platinum futures gained $16.70 to finish at $2,086.20 an ounce, September palladium added $7.30 to close at $472.05 an ounce and September copper tacked on 2.8 cents to close at $3.9105 a pound.