Russia is the world's biggest exporter of palladium and its second-largest platinum exporter after South Africa. "Any indication of Russian sanctions affecting palladium supply is bound to result in a sharp rebound," analysts at UBS said in a note to clients. "Should the situation deteriorate significantly, with the risks deemed sizable enough, we would expect palladium to very easily overcome resistance and make new highs.
The rise in gold continued a rally sparked Tuesday afternoon, when Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Russian troops are poised to pressure or invade Ukraine, causing gold prices to reverse losses and head higher in aftermarket electronic trading.
Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, rallied $US22. 90, or 1. 8 per cent, to $US1,308. 20 a troy ounce, the highest settlement price since July 21.
Western leaders allege the plane crash was a direct result of Moscow's support for the rebels. "The weakness in the equity markets, the conflict in Ukraine, all of it is putting people on edge," Peter Hug, director of precious metals at Kitco, said.
Conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East have helped buoy gold prices in recent months, even as the market has been weighed down by expectations that the Federal Reserve may tighten monetary policy sooner than expected.
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