TANGIBLE INVESTMENTS - Los Angeles - by James O'Dell - Gold and Silver prices were mixed on Tuesday, with Gold trading slightly higher at $1,309.60 an ounce after trading above $1,317.00 an ounce earlier in the day before profit taking kicked in, while Silver dipped to $19.94 an ounce, on weak economic data coming out of Germany. “Gold shrugged off the weight of a stronger U.S. dollar to be the best performing precious metal last week, gaining nearly 2 percent as investors took a more risk averse stance in the face of rising asset volatility," said ETF Securities.
"Improving Gold prices are due to escalations of Ukraine-Russia tensions and Iraq conflicts, but traders are also worried about Europe snail's pace recovery," said George Gero, of RBC Capital Markets. In Iraq, it appears that U.S. airstrikes, which began last week, have helped to revive the resolve of Iraqi Kurdish forces now battling the brutal Islamic State fighters. On Sunday, after weeks of retreating, Kurdish fighters liberated two towns from Sunni militants in one of Iraq's first victories against the Islamic militants.
Iraq’s political crisis deepened further on Monday though, after Iraqi President Fouad Masoum appointed Haidar al-Abadi to succeed embattled Prime Minister Maliki, who immediately refused to step down before ordering soldiers and militiamen to fan out across the nation's capital, Baghdad. Al-Abadi's nomination broke the political deadlock that has prevented Maliki's replacement since the April parliamentary elections.
Both President Obama, and Vice President Biden congratulated al-Abadi, and urged him to appoint a new cabinet “as quickly as possible.” Top Iranian official Ali Shamkhani also congratulated al-Abadi, which indicates that Iran is also backing away from Maliki. U.S. Secretary of State Kerry urged al-Abadi on Tuesday, to quickly form a government that is inclusive of all sects in the nation. Secretary Kerry added that the U.S. is prepared to offer significant additional aid to the new government to help in the fight against Islamic State forces.
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