Gold held ground on Wednesday after rising to a 19-month peak in the last session, as a stronger dollar and higher Treasury yields countered support from safe-haven demand stemming from the Ukraine crisis.

Spot gold was flat at $2,053.99 per ounce by 0312 GMT, after climbing to $2,069.89 in the previous session, a whisker away from its record $2,072.49 scaled in August 2020.

US gold futures rose 0.9% to $2,061.40.

Apart from US and UK banning Russian oil imports which isn’t impacting gold much, “there seems to be a lack of further escalation in the tensions between Russia and Western powers,” said Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX.

“Geopolitical catalysts are the main drivers behind gold, and once the political skies are clear, I foresee gold prices plunging quickly back to the $1,800 levels.”

US Treasury yields surged as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell supported raising rates this month, while the dollar held firm near Monday’s high in more than 1-1/2 years.

Gold is sensitive to rising US interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Higher rates also boost the dollar, pressuring the greenback-priced metal.

Palladium gained 3.3% to $3,284.67 per ounce, rising 38% since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Russia is a major producer of the auto-catalyst metal, used by automakers in catalytic converters to curb emissions.

“Palladium could move much higher because (out) of all the commodities, it has the highest percentage share coming out of Russia,” said ED&F Man Capital Markets analyst Edward Meir.

“Just this week, it took out last year’s high. So, if it’s last year’s high pre-invasion, this tells me that we should be much higher post-invasion.”

Spot silver was up 1% at $26.66 per ounce, after touching a near nine-month high on Tuesday. Platinum rose 1.2% to $1,168.02.


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