Gold rises on escalating geopolitical tension


By Xu JingUnreguser

CHICAGO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Thursday as tension between Russia and Ukraine escalates.

The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 5.4 U.S. dollars, or 0.32 percent, to close at 1,681.1 dollars per ounce.

Nevertheless, the strength in the U.S. dollar, boosted by the Federal Reserve's 0.75-percentage point rate hike on Wednesday, capped gold's growth somewhat.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that U.S. initial jobless claims rose 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 for the week ending Sept. 17. The figure is lower than the 218,000 applications forecast by economists.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England raised the interest rate to 2.25 percent on Thursday, the highest level since 2008; the Swiss National Bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points to 0.5 percent, bringing an end to an era of negative rates in Europe.

Japan intervened to support the yen for the first time since 1998, after its central bank has stuck with ultra-low interest rates.

Silver for December delivery rose 13.7 cents, or 0.7 percent, to close at 19.617 dollars per ounce. Platinum for October delivery fell 10 dollars, or 1.09 percent, to close at 906 dollars per ounce.

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