Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Bengaluru — Gold prices rose on Monday on safe-haven buying following the US-led missile strikes against Syria at the weekend, but the gains were limited by the likelihood that the operation may be a one-off event.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,347.84/oz at 3.16am GMT after an initial dip. US gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,350.60/oz.

Forces from the US, Britain and France pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in the biggest intervention by western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons.

US defence secretary Jim Mattis called the strikes a "one time shot", but Trump raised the prospect of further strikes if Assad’s government again uses chemical weapons.

"Gold prices are biased upwards in the short-term as gold is still seen as a safe-haven asset amid tensions over Syria, US-Russia sanctions and trade war," said Brian Lan, MD at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.

Gold has risen more than 3% this year, buoyed by international trade and geopolitical disputes and volatility in equities, but the metal has yet to emerge from a tight trading range in the face of an expectation for rising US interest rates, traders say. Speculators raised their net long positions in Comex gold contracts by 363 contracts to 138,212 contracts in the week to April 10, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

Dealers trimmed their short position in silver by 3,187 contracts to 36,417 contracts, the data showed.

Silver gained 0.3% at $16.68/oz.

Platinum was down 0.1% at $926.74/oz and palladium was 0.2% higher at $988.80/oz after hitting a three-week high of $990.50 on Friday. Prices rose 9.6% last week, its biggest weekly gain since January 2017.