CHICAGO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose more than 1 percent on Friday, amid high tensions in the Middle East following the U.S. killing of a top Iranian commander.
The most active gold contract for February delivery climbed 24.30 U.S. dollars, or 1.59 percent, to settle at 1,552.40 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, has dramatically raised tensions between Tehran and Washington. Iran has vowed to take revenge.
The flare-up significantly pushed up safe-haven gold, said market analysts.
U.S. stocks traded sharply lower on Friday as investors were concerned about geopolitical risks in the Middle East.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 200 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index followed Dow's fall. The downturn of stock benchmarks has also driven haven buying.
As for other precious metals, March silver went up 10.5 cents, or 0.58 percent, to close at 18.151 dollars per ounce. The April platinum rose 5.30 dollars, or 0.54 percent, to settle at 990.30 dollars per ounce.