Precious metals futures advanced strongly Friday as investors sought a haven, concerned that the violence on the Pan Am jet in Pakistan could heat up the world's trouble spots.
Gold futures on the Commodity Exchange in New York led the rally and gained more than $12 an ounce.
In some other markets, Treasury bonds slumped badly while oil was higher.
Metals put on a strong showing "despite a very sharp rally in the dollar and a very sharp selloff in Treasury bonds, which normally would pressure gold," said Bill O'Neill, research director for Elders Futures Inc.
South Africa, with its racial turmoil and potential for disrupting the world trade in platinum, remains in the background of the metals futures, he said. Also, the market believes that leading industrial nations could cut interest rates soon, a move that would support metals.
But it was the Pan Am hijacking, O'Neill said, which provided the special motivation for the market.
"The potential for Mideast unrest--it could effect oil production or U.S.-Libya relations depending on who was involved"--make the hijacking important to metals, he said.