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Oil, gold climb amid Israeli-Hamas war, tighter Russian sanctions

One analyst predicts gold could reach $4,000 per ounce by year-end amid uncertainty caused by the Middle East conflict.
A jewelry shop employee displays 24-carat gold bars in Ahmedabad, August 20, 2011.

Oil and gold prices continued to rise on Friday after the United States tightened sanctions on Russian energy exports and fears grew that an escalation of war in the Middle East would impact the output of the region, which is critical to the world's crude supply.

On Friday, the Israel Defense Forces continued to prepare for a ground invasion into northern Gaza in the wake of Hamas' unprecedented attack last weekend that resulted in the murder of hundreds of Israelis. More than 1,300 Israelis and at least 1,500 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict erupted on Saturday.

Furthermore, the United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on two shipping companies transporting Russian crude that it said violated the G7’s oil price cap, which is designed to enable a reliable supply of Russian oil to the market while economically hobbling the Kremlin. The G7 along with Australia and the European Union implemented the $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil in December. The EU and United Kingdom also banned seaborne imports of Russian crude. 

Brent futures rose $2.75, to $89.26 per barrel, at 7:32 am Eastern Time on Friday, while US West Texas Intermediate crude moved up 4% from yesterday, to $86.26. 

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