TANGIBLE INVESTMENTS - Los Angeles - by James O'Dell - Gold and Silver prices turned moderately lower on Monday with Gold easing $5.70 or 0.44 percent to trade at $1,288.80 an ounce, while Silver dipped $0.10 or 0.49 percent to trade at $20.23 an ounce as the market remained somewhat subdued. In top Gold consuming China, local premiums remained steady near $3 an ounce, compared to $1 to $2 an ounce in the previous several weeks, reflecting a moderate uptick in demand. In other Asian countries, premiums remained steady as well.
Geopolitical turmoil continues to underpin the metals, as violence in the Middle East spread across Iraq on Monday when thousands of Iraqi citizens were forced to flee their homes in the face of advancing Islamic State forces. The Sunni forces seized the Ain Zalah oilfield, adding to four others already under its control and providing funds for further operations.
The Sunni forces also gained control of the country's largest dam, and three nearby towns. It reportedly took the Sunni militants less than a day to capture the Mosul Dam which supplies electricity to a large portion of the country. "The terrorist gangs of the Islamic State have taken control of Mosul Dam after the withdrawal of Kurdish forces without a fight," said the state run Iraqi news station. The Iraqis believe the Islamic State militants could flood major cities or withhold water from farms, but Kurdish officials in Washington said the dam remains under the control of Kurdish "peshmerga" troops, although some of the towns near the dam have fallen to the Islamic State fighters.
In Libya, a fire rages out of control at a fuel depot near the Tripoli airport, a constant target as fighting persists between warring factions as several disparate groups want their own share of the nation's oil wealth. Libya's oil stockpiles supply 85 percent of the country's revenue but from July 17 to July 21, national oil output fell from 555,000 bpd to 450,000 bpd due largely to clashes in Tripoli and Benghazi.
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