Geopolitical Flare Ups Continue Across Middle East And Ukraine

  • Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 08:31 PM

TANGIBLE INVESTMENTS - Los Angeles - by James O'Dell - Gold and Silver prices turned lower on Tuesday, as Gold dipped modestly in thin trade to $1,296.30 an ounce, while Silver slipped to $19.46 an ounce, after equities and the dollar strengthened when U.S. housing starts posted a strong rebound in July, even as geopolitical tensions began to flare up across the Middle East and Ukraine. "Gold obviously didn't like the U.S. CPI and housing data, which boosted the dollar," said Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen.

In Gaza, a cease-fire collapsed on Tuesday when Palestinians were accused of firing rockets into an empty field in southern Israel. The Israelis quickly withdrew their delegation from the Egyptian brokered discussions in Cairo, before resuming the shelling of the decimated Palestinian enclave. Hamas, a political group in Gaza, denied any responsibility for the rocket attack, before blaming Israel for the escalation.

“Hamas does not have any information about the launching of any rockets from Gaza,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza. “The Israeli occupation is aiming through this escalation in the region to abort the talks in Cairo,” he added.

In Iraq, the U.S. has expanded airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) forces, conducting 15 airstrikes on Monday, as it bolstered Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Iraqi troops in retaking the Mosul dam from IS militants. The fight to regain the city of Mosul itself, however, may be much harder as will the many battles still left to fight against the IS fighters throughout Iraq.

In Ukraine, tensions remain heightened after dozens of refugees, many of them women and children, were killed as they fled fighting in eastern Ukraine on Monday when their convoy of buses, bearing white flags, was hit by shelling. Ukraine accused pro-Russian rebels of targeting the convoy as it neared the eastern city of Luhansk.

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