CHICAGO, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to a three-week high on intensified tensions in Ukraine on Monday.
The most active gold contract for June delivery rose 6.4 U.S. dollars, or 0.49 percent, to settle at 1,309.3 dollars per ounce.
The threat of a full scale intervention in Ukraine by Russia caused gold to shoot up. Weakness in U.S. equities also supported gold.
But positive U.S. economic data coming out Monday put a damper on gold's use as a safe haven. The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing index rose to 55.2 percent in April, the highest reading in six months.
Some analysts believe that the data counterbalanced the impact of Ukraine tensions, but they still expect gold to remain on the downtrend as strong U.S. payroll figures reported Friday suggest a stable U.S. economy.
Market analysts believe that the Federal Reserve may soon be in a position to start raising interest rates as Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will appear before the Joint Economic Committee of U.S. Congress Wednesday, which could potentially result in further information on how soon the first change in actual interest rate policy since 2008 will happen. But some analysts hold that no firm decision on timing will be made until October.
The SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold ETF, reduced its gold holdings by 2.70 tonnes to 782.85 tonnes Friday.
Silver for July delivery rose 2.5 cents, or 0.13 percent, to close at 19.571 dollars per ounce. Platinum for July delivery gained 7.7 dollars, or 0.53 percent, to close at 1,448.4 dollars per ounce.