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Gold prices rise on Middle East tensions

All News 11:16 January 05, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- Escalating geopolitical tensions between the United States and Iran have caused gold prices to rise in South Korea and led to a surge in trade of the precious metal, according to the local exchange on Sunday.

According to the Korea Exchange, a gram of gold changed hands at 57,850 won (US$49.50) on Friday, up 1.74 percent from a day earlier.

The bourse operator also said the value of daily gold trading jumped 60.1 percent on-day to 3.64 billion won on Friday.

In contrast, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 0.98 percent to close at 2,176.46 points on Friday, after the Pentagon confirmed the killing of an Iranian commander.

Market watchers attributed the surge in gold prices to stronger investor appetite for safe-haven assets.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that Washington was targeting 52 Iranian sites and would strike if Tehran retaliated for the airstrike that killed the top Iranian general.

Ahn Young-jin, an analyst at SK Securities, said heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran have stoked investors' flight to safety.

Ahn said the U.S. hard-line Middle East strategy has become firmer.

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