Forces loyal to embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi are expected to run into an even more intense air campaign presented by the alliance of the U.S., the U.K. and France, who've said they're acting to preserve the safety of Libyan civilians. Military defections in Yemen, which could escalate to a civil war, also are pushing the precious metal's futures in both directions.
"Precious metals continue to benefit from uncertainty over the situation in Libya," according to a report by Marc Ground, an analyst at Standard Bank in Johannesburg. "A weaker dollar is also lending support. Any strong indications that Japan's nuclear crisis might be coming to an end could see safe-haven demand come off slightly."
At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, gold futures were down 0.11 percent, a $1.60 decrease to $1,424.80 per troy ounce.
Gold may gain "as support is offered by Middle East tensions," according to a Tuesday report by Tom Pawlicki, an analyst in Chicago at MF Global Holdings. "Yemen's proximity to Saudi Arabia as well as on the Gulf of Aden could be important in boosting the geopolitical risk premium."
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