Investing.com - Gold prices rose to a six-month high for the second consecutive day on Thursday, as demand for safe haven assets remained supported amid simmering concerns over the standoff in Ukraine.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery rose to a session high of $1,375.20 a troy ounce, the most since September 9.
Gold last traded at $1,374.40 an ounce during European morning hours, up 0.28%, or $3.90. Gold rallied 1.77%, or $23.80 an ounce, on Wednesday to settle at $1,370.50.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,327.50 a troy ounce, the low from March 10 and resistance at $1,391.70, the high from September 9.
Meanwhile, silver for May delivery inched up 0.35%, or $0.07 cents, to trade at $21.42 a troy ounce. Silver ended Wednesday’s session up 2.61%, or $0.54 cents, to settle at $21.35 an ounce.
Investors continued to monitor events in Ukraine, where tension over moves by neighboring Russia in the Crimean region have heightened demand for safe haven assets.
U.S. President Barack Obama warned on Wednesday that unless Russian President Vladimir Putin pulls back from endorsing a referendum on Crimea joining Russia, the U.S. and its allies “will be forced to apply a cost to Russia’s violations of international law and its encroachments on Ukraine.”
President Obama’s comments came after Leaders of the Group of Seven biggest industrial nations warned Russia not to annex Crimea.
In a joint statement, the leaders said Russian annexation of Crimea "could have grave implications for the legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states."
Should Russia take the step, the G-7 said it would respond with further action "individually and collectively."
Meanwhile, market players looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.
The U.S. is to release data on retail sales and import prices, in addition to the weekly government report on initial jobless claims.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for May delivery slumped 0.85% to trade at $2.937 following the release of lackluster data out of China.
Industrial production in China rose by an annualized rate of 8.6% in the first two months of 2014, the weakest for the first two months of the year since 2009 and below expectations for a 9.5% increase.
A separate report showed that Chinese retail sales rose by a smaller-than-forecast 11.8% in the same period, the slowest pace for the first two months since 2004.
Copper has been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions as growing concerns over the health of China’s economy dampened demand for growth-linked assets.
The industrial metal fell to $2.908 a pound on Wednesday, the weakest since July 2010.
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