Los Angeles CA, August 12 (Tangible Investments) - by James O’Dell - Precious metals prices were higher in overnight trade on Tuesday, on news that a Russian aid convoy is heading to eastern Ukraine. Gold eased a modest $1.15 or 0.08 percent to close at $1,308.15 an ounce on Monday, while Silver added $0.13 or 0.65 percent to close at $20.04 an ounce, and the Gold/Silver ratio, the measure of the number of ounces of Silver needed to buy an ounce of Gold, fell to 65.28.
Gold is up nearly 9 percent so far this year, with most of those gains coming from the tensions building between the West and Russia over the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine by Russia just five months ago. Russia's Itar Tass news agency announced early Tuesday that a convoy of 280 vehicles had already left Moscow heading for Ukraine and carrying humanitarian aid. This comes after warnings to Russia from the West on Monday against using a ruse like humanitarian aid as a pretext for an invasion.
The Red Cross, which has been tasked with coordinating the operation, said it has no information on what the convoy is carrying or where it is headed. That sparked fears in Ukraine and the West, that Russia could be sending arms and troops into separatist held territory, where just two days ago, Ukraine rejected a rebel offer of a cease-fire. An aide to Ukraine's President Poroshenko said Kiev will require all aid, if it is to enter the country, to be reloaded onto other transport vehicles at the border by the Red Cross.
"We will not allow any escort by the emergencies ministry of Russia or by the military. Everything will be under the control of the Ukrainian side," said aide, Valery Chaly. "The market will be monitoring developments in Ukraine as Russia sends an aid convoy," said VTB Capital's Andrey Kryuchenkov.
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