Gold ingots
Gold futures headed higher on geopolitical tension Reuters

Trading calls influenced by geopolitics remained the order of the day on Wednesday (12 April), as gold and oil futures contracts registered another round of long calls, i.e. bets to the upside, both in Asia and Europe.

In tune with market sentiment, the poster contract of safe-haven calls – gold – led the way. At 2:19pm BST, the Comex gold contract for June delivery was up 0.11% or $1.40 to $1,275.60 an ounce, holding on to much of the previous session's gains, while spot gold was broadly flat at $1,274.31 an ounce.

FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said: "The uncomfortable trading atmosphere created from political risk has boosted gold's attraction this week, with prices sprinting to five-week highs.

"The yellow metal is firmly bullish on the daily charts, and further upside may be expected as anxiety accelerates the flight to safety.

"From a technical standpoint, previous resistance at $1,260 could transform into a dynamic support that opens a path towards $1,280 and potentially higher."

Elsewhere, Comex silver was up 0.31% or 6 cents to $18.31 an ounce, while spot platinum was up 0.72% or $7.02 at $963.67 an ounce.

Away from precious metals, oil futures continued to trade higher on Middle Eastern tensions and the possibility of Opec extending its cuts beyond June.

At 2:24pm BST, the Brent front month futures contract was up 0.27% or 15 cents at $56.38 per barrel, maintaining its overnight spike above $56, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was 0.32% or 17 cents at a five-week high of $53.57 per barrel.

Analysts at Vienna-based JBC Energy said: "Late overnight news suggesting that Saudi Arabia is increasingly leaning towards an extension of the production cuts for an additional six months likely offered support.

"A post-close inventory update from the American Petroleum Institute (API), which showed that US crude and gasoline stocks fell by 1.3-3.7m barrels week-over-week respectively, provided further impetus to the upside."

Meanwhile, data continues to suggest that production concerns have not quite eased yet. Latest figures from Baker Hughes suggests the number of US rigs rose again last week, up 15 rigs on the week, and 396 compared to the same week last year.

Concurrently, research conducted by GlobalData suggested that a total of 30 oil and natural gas projects are expected to start operations in the North Sea by 2020, despite the low cycle that the market is facing.

The UK will lead with a total of 20 projects, followed by Norway with nine and Denmark with a single project, the research and consulting firm added.