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International gold closed for the fourth week in a row, up%, hitting a four-month high to $US\/oz, near the nearly six-year high of $US1557\/oz recorded in early September last year. Investors rushed to secure assets as US air strikes killed key Iranian military targets in Iraq.


The \"shadow war \"between Iran and the United States and its key allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, intensified sharply in the Middle East on Friday (January 3) in an airstrike at Iraqi airport in Baghdad. Iranian authorities have vowed to retaliate forcefully.


Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's elite forces, the Al-Quds Force, and Abu Mahdial-Muhandis, head of the Iraqi militia, were killed in U.S. airstrikes against Baghdad airport, the U.S. Defense Department said.


\"We acted last night to stop a war,\" US President Donald Trump said on Friday (January 3). We have not acted to provoke a war.


Soleimani, commander of Iran's Al-Quds Brigade, who was killed in U.S. airstrikes, is planning an attack on Americans in a short time, Trump said. He added that the United States does not seek regime change in Iran.


Richmond fed chairman mr. barkin said friday the economy remains \"healthy\" and likely to continue to grow, but heightened tensions between the u.s. and iran are a reminder that external shocks could still undermine the nation's recovery for more than a decade.


\"President Trump ordered U.S. military airstrikes overnight in Iraq, and Iranian leaders vowed revenge, resulting in a fall in the stock market and higher risk-averse assets that led to higher precious metals,\" said David Meger, head of metals trading at High Ridge Futures. The gold market has traded well since rising to $1,490.\"


U.S. President Donald Trump says he expects to sign the first phase of an economic and trade deal with China by January 15. Investors believe that as trade optimism brightens the outlook for global economic growth, the U.S. economy's outperform of other economies may be coming to an end, putting pressure on the dollar.


The U.S. manufacturing index fell to a decade-low in December, with new orders and employment sub-indexes at multi-year lows, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Supply Management Association (ISM), and poor data hit expectations of a slowing pace of manufacturing contraction. Trade tensions have hit manufacturing. This further supports gold prices.


Manufacturing has been under pressure for much of the second half of 2019 as a tit-for-tat tariff dispute between the United States and China reduces the flow of goods between the world's two largest economies and slows global economic growth.



In addition to the trade drag, Mr Fiore said Boeing's failure to get its 737 Max back on board was a drag, especially for the weakest of the six industries.



The small decline in the number of jobless claims last week was a positive sign in the US job market, but there are recent signs that the number of initial jobless claims could show a slight upward trend.


Investors are returning from the holiday to readjust their portfolio. Given the current economic and political environment, there is unease about the reasons behind the rise of the stock market to its current high. If the stock market is revised, more money will flow into the gold market.


Fed policymakers agreed at their final policy meeting in 2019 that interest rates could remain unchanged \"for some time\" as the Fed looked to develop a new monetary policy framework.


The minutes of the Fed's December 10-11 policy meeting, released on Friday (January 3), also showed that policymakers were preparing to discuss ways to change their management of liquidity in financial markets, including the possibility of a permanent repo mechanism.