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Gold prices increased Feb. 15, according to The Wall Street Journal. The precious metal moved upward 0.6 percent to $1,233.10 per Troy ounce, despite strong stock action and signals from the Federal Reserve Bank indicating that further interest rate hikes may materialize. Analysts have pegged the development to political uncertainty stemming from the Trump administration.
Flynn resignation, Russia connections cast a pall
On Monday Feb. 13, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign after federal agents confirmed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations with Russian intelligence officials during the presidential campaign, The New York Times reported. On Wednesday Feb. 15, American intelligence officers announced that multiple individuals on President Donald Trump's staff held conversations with Russian officials prior to Inauguration Day. The discoveries ignited calls for investigations into the administration's connections with the Russian government, including financial arrangements that could be used as leverage in blackmail schemes.
These developments add to a lengthening list of surprising situations unfolding within the executive branch.
Traders grapple with instability
Investors have not taken kindly to the seemingly unending bout of political turbulence, CNBC reported. While stock market performance has improved in recent sessions, commodities are up for the year, as traders with their eyes glued to the news continue to funnel cash into safe havens. Some believe the rollercoaster ride will continue for Trump's entire term, a development that could bode well for those in the precious metals industry.
"If there's a way to measure uncertainty in the next four years, we would say it's basically off the charts at this point in time," Russel Chesler, director of investments and portfolio strategy for Australian division of the asset management firm VanEck, told the news organization. "Over the last couple months, everybody's become obsessed with Trump, his actions, statements and of course his tweets. We think this is going to continue. It's an up-and-down ride and these risks are going to be positive for gold going forward."
This projection came to fruition Feb. 15, as gold broke out of a four-session slump. Silver scheduled for March delivery also surged, moving up 0.4 percent to $17.93 per Troy ounce, according to MarketWatch. Platinum also improved, rising 0.8 percent to $1009.90 per ounce.