Gold prices in India hit a fresh record high of Rs 42,270 after Iran’s attack on Iraq-based airbases housing US soldiers escalated tensions in the Middle East. Gold prices on the Multi Commodity Exchange jumped nearly 2 percent to Rs Rs 42,270 per 10 grams. At 9:30 AM, Gold futures for February delivery traded 1.43 percent at Rs 41,245 on the MCX. Silver March futures also jumped 1.45 percent to Rs 48,803.
Global gold prices surged as much as 2 percent to surpass the $1,600 ceiling for the first time in nearly seven years as investors flocked to safe havens. Global spot gold rate hit the highest level since March 2013 at $1,610.90. As of 8:20 AM, gold prices were trading 0.8 percent up at $1,585.80 per ounce.
Gold prices corrected by Rs 420 to Rs 41,210 per 10 gram in Delhi on Tuesday on the back of a stronger rupee and profit-booking in global market. Silver prices also plummeted by Rs 830 to Rs 48,600 per kg.
Gold hit its all-time high level on Monday and later closed at Rs 41,630 per 10 gram.
Heavy sell-offs in stock markets
Global markets were rattled, with Asian stocks sliding and sharply lifting oil prices. Japan's Nikkei fell nearly 2 percent and Hong Kong's was off nearly 1 percent. Shanghai, Sydney and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.
Indian benchmark indices BSE Sensex and NSE’s Nifty 50 were down nearly 1 percent in the morning trade. The Sensex tanked 392.92 points to 40,866.36 in the opening session and the Nifty slumped 123.35 points to 11,929.60.
The Indian rupee slipped below the 72-mark against the US dollar, falling by 20 paise to 72.02.
Brent crude futures, the benchmark for international oils, temporarily jumped more than $3 per barrel in London before retreating. Brent crude was up $1.02 at $69.29. At the start of Wednesday's trading, it spiked $3.48 to $71.75 before retreating.
"We are getting exaggerated moves but that's of course volatility playing. Markets simply hate uncertainty. It's an old adage but it definitely holds true in the current situation - markets can price risks but they can't price uncertainty," said James McGlew, executive director of corporate stockbroking at Argonaut, to Reuters.
Iran today fired a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing US troops for killing its top military commander, escalating tensions between the two longtime foes.
A US official said there were no immediate reports of American casualties, though buildings were still being searched. 'All is well!' President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the missile attacks, adding, 'So far, so good' regarding casualties.
Iranian state TV said it was in revenge for the US killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whose death last week in an American drone strike near Baghdad prompted angry calls to avenge his slaying.
"If it does look like we've got US casualties, then I don't think Trump is going to just stand back and take that," said Reuters quoted Matt Simpson, a senior market analyst at Gain Capital, as saying. "World War III has been thrown around. I don't think we're there yet. But it does look like Iraq II."
(With inputs from agencies)