Gold bars
Gold futures raced past $1,270 an ounce on geopolitical tension. Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Precious metals saw another session of unprecedented volatility on Tuesday (11 April) after gold futures and spot prices skyrocketed again, aided by the escalating war of words between Russia and the West that followed US intervention in Syria.

Furthermore, news of a US aircraft carrier group headed for the Korean peninsula, complicated politics in Europe and the looming spectre of Brexit saw the Comex gold futures contract for June delivery up $18.30 or 1.46% at 6:14pm BST to $1,272.20 an ounce with safe-haven seekers bidding up the contract.

James Roberts, account executive at commodities trader Sucden Financial, said: "Gold appears to be doing what it does best in time of uncertainty, while the market continues to monitor the macro political uncertainty."

In tandem with the futures market, spot gold was up 1.25% or $15.66 to $1,270.88 an ounce, as bullion traders in London pointed to a rise in appetite for the yellow metal.

Josh Saul, chief executive of The Pure Gold Company, said that physical buying extended well beyond UK shores, with retail investors worried that US intervention in Syria may result in Russian retaliation.

"In the wake of the US strike on Syria, we've seen a 32% increase in international gold clients concerned that any consequence of the geopolitical tensions will lead to a depreciation in the dollar and an uptick in the price of gold. This happened on Friday when the gold price touched five-month highs and the spike prompted a 43% increase in enquiries to purchase physical gold."

Saul said the company's current buyers are purchasing gold as an insurance policy rather than in an attempt to make a profit on the price fluctuations, with many holding on to their purchases even in the event of marginal dip in prices. "Unfortunately, war and terror have been bumped up the list of fundamentals affecting the gold price."

Meanwhile, the oil markets witnessed a calmer session by contrast, shedding some of the frenzy from the previous two.

At 5.54pm BST, the Brent front month futures contract was up 0.04% or 2 cents to $56.00 per barrel, while the WTI was up 0.26% or 14 cents at $53.22 per barrel, maintaining gains above the $50 per barrel levels it achieved last week, and in sight of year-to-date highs.

FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said the geopolitical uncertainty in Syria sparked further speculations of a threat to supply, and complemented the upsurge in oil prices. "Although the incredible rebound in oil has somewhat turned prices bullish, the lingering oversupply concerns may cap upside gains in the medium to longer term.