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NEW YORK: Gold rose to a one-month high on Monday, just shy of the $2,000 an ounce level, as concerns around the Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising inflationary pressures increased safe-haven bids for the precious metal.

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,976.56 per ounce by 2:09 p.m. ET (1809 GMT), after earlier hitting its highest since March 11 at $1,998.10. US gold futures settled 0.6% higher at $1,986.4.

Gold’s advance was curbed late in the session by a jump in benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields and further gains in the dollar, which dulls the appetite for gold among overseas buyers.

“The little step-up in tension due the Russia-Ukraine war with inflationary pressures across the board boosts safe-haven demand for gold,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Concerns over the economic hit from COVID-led restrictions in China also supported the metal, Meger said.

Although concerns of soaring inflation boost gold’s safe-haven appeal, interest rate hikes to temper higher prices could hurt demand for the metal because of the higher opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The US Federal Reserve is expected to accelerate its pace of policy tightening when it meets next, with a rise of 50 basis points expected in the May and June meetings.

“From a technical perspective, spot gold may face little resistance once it goes north of $2,000... However, gold’s ability to keep its head above $2,000 may be strained once real yields break into positive territory,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity, said.

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