Gold futures were up slightly more than a quarter of a point on Wednesday morning as anti-government demonstrations escalated in North Africa and the Middle East, Bloomberg reports. Silver futures also increased.
Muammar Gadhafi, Libya's embattled ruler of 42 years, told a television audience on Tuesday that he will not bend to the spreading protests. The value of the U.S. dollar slipped against the euro amidst increasing fuel costs while gold futures remained above $1,400 per troy ounce.
Just before 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday, gold futures gained 0.26 percent, a $3.70 uptick to $1,404.80 per troy ounce.
The precious metal "will continue to be boosted by geopolitical factors, inflation threats, and from a return of investment," according to a Wednesday report by Tom Pawlicki, an analyst at MF Global in Chicago.
Silver futures also were up prior to 8:15 a.m., a 1.21 percent increase of 0.399 cents to $33.255 per troy ounce.
Protests in Libya come on the heels of demonstrators' success in toppling the ruler of Egypt, Libya's neighbor to the east. Earlier this month, Hosni Mubarak fell after 18 days. Tunisia's leader was the first to fall to anti-government demonstrations, which took place in January. In response to protests, Yemen's ruler vowed not to run for re-election, also stating he would not pass on rulership to his son.
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