Why the Price of Gold Topped $1,900 Last Week

MajorsFeb 28, 2022

Why the Price of Gold Topped $1,900 Last Week

It fell quickly following the spike but is still likely to remain high in the coming months, analysts said.

The gold price topped $1,900 per ounce last week just prior to Russia invading Ukraine. Pictured is Misahara’s “Gilded” cuff with 18-karat gold and diamonds ($3,900).
New York—The gold price soared above $1,900 per ounce last week as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalated before declining again after the U.S.’s expanded sanctions in the wake of the Russian invasion.

The price of the precious metal already was high, even before political tensions sent it soaring for a short time. 

After ending 2021 with an average price of $1,786.65 per ounce in December, the price of gold averaged $1,816.76 per ounce in January, according to Kitco.

It began a steady rise around the second week of February, climbing from an average of $1,813.55 per ounce on Feb. 7 to $1,893.60 per ounce by Feb. 18.

Last week, as tensions rose between Russia and Ukraine, it climbed even higher, passing the $1,900-per-ounce mark on Tuesday,  averaging $1,900.10 that day and ticking up to an $1,904.70 average on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the gold price was at about $1,955 per ounce when the market opened, but news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seemed to have a quick effect—the price dropped steadily throughout the day, Kitco charts show, bottoming out at around $1,880 right around the time President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced expanded sanctions against Russia. 

Gold averaged $1,884.80 per ounce on Friday. 

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The last time the gold price was above $1,900 was last June, Kitco historic charts show.

“As you might expect, the key reason for the price spike is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led to a jump in safe-haven demand. Even before this, the gold price was benefiting because of rising inflation and concerns that, after the expected increase of U.S. interest rates in March, the Fed may then not raise rates as much as the market believes they will,” said Philip Newman, managing director at Metals Focus.

Newman added that though the gold price tends to spike during significant geo-political events and then fall after said event continues, in this case, gold should remain “well supported” in the coming months due to “underlying economic issues.”

Along those lines, some analysts are predicting that it’s only a matter of time before the price passes the $2,000-per-ounce threshold once again.

The last time it surpassed that mark was in August 2020, when the gold price reached its highest point in eight years. 

The silver price has also been on the rise; it averaged $23.13 in January, but rose to a high of $25.32 per ounce in February. It closed Friday at an average of $24.21. 

The platinum price has also been on a steady incline, passing the $1,000-per-ounce mark in mid-January. It ended last week at an average of $1,101. 

Palladium, meanwhile, hit a 6-month high after Russia’s invasion, peaking at an average of $2,680 per ounce on Thursday. 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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