CHICAGO, Mar. 18 -- Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange reclaimed 1,400 U.S. dollar per ounce mark on Thursday, as bargain hunting trickled in after the precious metal notched a one-month low Tuesday on the fear of Japan's nuclear crisis.
The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 8.1 dollars, or 0.6 percent, to 1,404.2 dollars per ounce.
Gold remains well entrenched in positive territory on Thursday thanks to sustained buying from bargain hunters, as a calmer mode dominated the broad markets and investors re-entered the gold market after an avalanche of panic selling on Tuesday.
Fears over the escalating nuclear crisis in Japan prompted gold price slump to 1,380.70 dollars per ounce on March 15, the lowest since Feb. 17, as investors flocked to sell assets to raise cash and protect their portfolio through these disastrous events.
Gold also received some support as protests in Bahrain and tensions in Libya raised further concerns about the stability of the Middle East, prompting safe-haven flows into the precious metal. "Today's gold session covered a very choppy 18.60 dollar range, as traders and investors are choosing the gold market as their safe haven alternative investment. There is a strong possibility of a military intervention from United Nation Forces into the civil war torn country of Libya," said Mike Daly, a gold specialist with PFGBest in Chicago.
Meanwhile, the newly-gained strength in crude oil price also offer a strong lift to gold, as higher oil prices are seen as inflationary, and investors usually purchase gold as a hedge against inflation.
Silver for May delivery pared 21.4 cents, or 0.6 percent, to 34. 258 dollars an ounce. April platinum delivery added 6.4 dollars, or 0.4 percent, to 1,706.9 dollars an ounce.