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Gold closes at a three-week high as conflicts in Ukraine escalate

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Gold rose to its highest price in three weeks on Monday, on news that the Russian and internal conflicts in Ukraine have continued to increase, according to the United States Gold Bureau.

The price of gold for June delivery settled at $1,309.30, an increase of $6.40 or 0.5 percent, on the Comex in New York. This is gold’s highest price since April 14, when it closed at $1,327.50.

Concerns about Russia’s incursions into Ukraine began to send gold’s price up in February, as the Ukraine government’s instability became apparent. But as Russia took possession of Ukraine’s Crimea region, and the conflict simmered without much escalation. In the last week, tensions have increased dramatically.

“On Monday, heavy fighting broke out in the pro-Russian militant stronghold of Slovyansk as Ukraine's military forces pushed further into the city,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Tatyana Shumsky. “The Interior Ministry said that four Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and 30 injured as government forces met strong resistance from a group of about 800 pro-Russian fighters armed with large caliber weapons, mortars and other equipment.”

Over the weekend, Ukraine because to increase its efforts to suppress a pre-Russian insurgency. Fighting was reported in at least six eastern Ukranian cities.

"Today is a clear pickup in tensions," Bill O'Neill, a principal at Logic Advisors, told the Wall Street Journal.

"Civil unrest in Ukraine has everyone nervous about the integrity of the May 25th elections and the stability of the region," traders at TD Securities said in a note to clients.

This movement, which also buoyed by some technical momentum, moved gold above the key $1,300 level.

“U.S. economic data released Monday includes the U.S. services PMI, the employment trends index, the global manufacturing PMI, and the ISM non-manufacturing report on business. None of this data had a significant impact on the precious metals markets,” wrote Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News, published on Forbes.

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