Rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine push traders into precious metals

Markets Associated Press

Gold prices are settling higher as unrest in Ukraine and the Middle East draws traders into their hiding spots.

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Gold for August delivery rose $12.50, or 1 percent, to settle at $1,303.30 an ounce on Friday. Silver for September added 22 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $20.64 an ounce.

The U.S. Defense Department said Friday that Russia was about to move heavy artillery into the hands of separatists in Ukraine. The day before, the Obama administration accused Russia of firing artillery at Ukraine's military.

Traders often shift money into gold in turbulent times. In March, gold prices reached a high point for the year as the territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine grew tense.

Crude oil picked up 2 cents to end at $102.09 a barrel.