CHICAGO, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday rose for the fifth session in a row on a weak dollar, ending the week with a gain of more than 3 percent.
The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 6.6 U.S. dollars, or 0.48 percent, to settle at 1,379 dollars per ounce.
Market analysts attributed gold's gain to demand for safe-haven assets amid the escalating crisis in Ukraine's autonomous republic of Crimea which is hold a referendum over its future status on Sunday.
Economic figures released Friday also supported gold. U.S. Labor Department said U.S. producer price index dipped 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, a sign that the inflationary pressures remain contained.
The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell to 79.9 in March from 81.6 the prior month, the lowest level in four months.
Analysts believe that if the situation in Ukraine results in unrest or riot, gold prices may break the level of 1,400 dollars per ounce. But if the situation resolves or stabilizes to current standoff, gold prices may drop quickly.
Silver for May delivery gained 21.5 cents, or 1.01 percent, to close at 21.413 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery dropped 9.8 dollars, or 0.66 percent, to close at 1,469.6 dollars per ounce.