Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose as crude oil edges up on Friday, but the trade volume was light in post-Christmas trading.
The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 21.8 U. S. dollars, or 1.86 percent, to settle at 1,195.30 dollars per ounce.
Analysts said that the rise of gold prices after Christmas was mostly due to short covering by speculators as the precious metal slipped for three consecutive trading days.
Some analysts attributed the gold’s rise to higher crude prices, as unrest in Libya has cut supplies.
Three oil tankers were hit and burned Friday in Libya’s largest oil port in the oil crescent, after an attack by militias of Libya Dawn with a rocket-propelled grenade. Since Dec. 13, the battles have slashed Libya’s oil production from 800,000 barrels per day to about 200,000 barrels, according to Libyan officials.
Gold gains eased slightly as oil prices turned negative and the US dollar rose against a basket of currencies.
Liquidity in the market remained slight Friday after the Christmas holiday. Other key markets such as Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Britain were closed.
Silver for March delivery gained 43.7 cents, or 2.78 percent, to close at 16.147 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery added 27.6 dollars, or 2.31 percent, to close at 1,219.9 dollars per ounce.