Gold Breaks New $1,400 Ground at Near 6-Year Highs - Gold bulls are showing no slowing in their appetite for $1,400 pricing and beyond.

Bubbling tensions in the Middle East and bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve was on course to its first rate cut in more than a decade continued to pull investors toward gold like a magnet on Monday.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, traded at $1,419.28 per ounce by 3:49 PM ET (19:49 GMT), up 19.85, or 1.4%, on the day. Bullion earlier peaked at $1,420.26, its highest since Sept. 2013. It rose 4.3% last week and is up 9% on the month, its best advance since February 2016

Gold futures for August delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled Monday up $18.10, or 1.3%, at $1,418.20 per ounce. It earlier peaked at $1,423.75, its highest since Oct. 2013. August gold ended last week up 4.5%. For the month, it's showing a gain of 10%.

Since breaking above $1,300 this month, gold has pushed into territory unseen for years, with some analysts now expecting it to even reach $1,500 an ounce and beyond in short order.

"This is the fifth day of gains in a row as demand for the precious metal remains robust due to rising tensions between the US and Iran, a dovish shift by major central banks and a widespread weakness in the greenback," Helen Rush, senior analyst for precious metals at Capital Markets in London, said on Monday.

Iran has also refused to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Donald Trump, leaving the U.S. president at wits end on how to deal with the Islamic Republic. Tehran has denied U.S. accusations that it engineered attacks on several oil tankers and energy assets in the Middle East over the past month, although it owned up last week to shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone that almost resulted in a military response from Washington.

In the Fed's case, three officials of the central bank -- Chairman Jerome Powell, St. Louis Fed Chief James Bullard and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic - are having speaking engagements this week, creating more opportunities for gold bulls to draw on their comments toward a rate hike expected at the Fed's July meeting.

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