Gold climbed toward a four-month high in New York as the standoff between Russia and Ukraine spurred demand for a haven. Silver advanced.
Ukraine began military drills as Russian forces tightened their hold on the Crimean peninsula, where residents will have the choice of joining Russia in a March 16 referendum. Ukraine’s prime minister prepared to meet U.S. President Barack Obama and western nations threatened further repercussions if Russia failed to defuse tensions.
Bullion advanced 12 percent this year, rebounding from the biggest annual drop since 1981, even as the Federal Reserve announced a $10 billion reduction to bond buying at each of its past two meetings, leaving purchases at $65 billion. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last month the central bank will probably maintain its strategy of trimming the stimulus program. Global equities are within 1 percent of a six-year high set last week.
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