(Bloomberg) -- Gold options are signaling there's more room to run for bulls.
Prices and volumes surged Tuesday on calls giving holders the right to buy bullion at higher prices. As of 11:21 a.m. in New York, trading in the most-active option was 10 times Monday's total, and price swings on options were at the highest in three months. Investors also returned to the biggest exchange-traded fund backed by the metal.
Gold climbed to the highest in five months as geopolitical tensions fueled demand for the metal as a haven. Investor anxiety has mounted amid discord between the Trump administration and Russia over Syria and festering U.S.-North Korea tensions, helping send global equities lower. Demand for a store of value is giving gold a jolt at a time when the metal's rally was showing signs of fatigue amid prospects for higher interest rates.
"You could see our relations deteriorate pretty fast with Russia, and things could escalate quickly," Phil Streible, a senior commodity strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. "It's seems we're one disagreement away from World War III starting, and so gold is getting a boost."
Gold futures for June delivery gained 1.6% to settle at $1,274.20 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,275.90, the highest for a most-active contract since November.
The price for call options giving holders the right to buy May futures at $1,300 an ounce more than quadrupled. That was the most-active gold option, with volume at more than 4,000 contracts. The seven most-traded options on Tuesday were calls, with prices rising at least 76% for each.
Bullion futures, which are up about 11% this year, closed above the 200-day moving average for the first time since November; indicating upward momentum.
On Monday, investors poured $71.4 million into SPDR Gold Shares, the first inflow in a week into the largest ETF backed by the metal. Money also flowed into 10 other similar ETFs listed in exchanges from Shanghai to London.