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Gold Gains on Syria Instability, Physical Demand (Update 1)

Updated from 11:01 a.m. EDT with settlement prices

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices gained Monday on concerns about Syria and a bump in physical demand as Asian stocks rebounded.

Gold for June delivery at the COMEX division of the CME rose $3.80 to $1,468 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,478.40 and as low as $1,463.80 an ounce, while the spot price was slipping 80 cents, according to Kitco's gold index.

Reports emerged late last week that Israel had launched an airstrike into Syria and had targeted a suspected weapons site. Israeli jets reportedly launched another attack on Sunday, targeting the Jamraya research center, which is a secret scientific research center near Damascus, Syria's capital.

Gold didn't receive a huge boost on the Syria news, but rising uncertainty about stability in the region did support enough buyers of the precious metal as a hedge.

Physical demand was also lending support to gold on Monday as Asian stock markets rebounded, said Phil Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures.

"People are liquidating those ETFs and they're utilizing their money to buy the physical," Streible said from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. "You're seeing a real disconnect, I mean, physical prices are holding strong and people are looking for staying power with their money."

Silver prices for July delivery slid 6 cents to $23.96, while the U.S. dollar index was increasing 0.26% to $82.31.

Over the weekend, legendary investor Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), said that investment in gold doesn't appeal to him.

"It's never interested me. If you go back to 1965, Berkshire was at $15 and gold was at $35, so you could've bought two shares of Berkshire for an ounce of gold, a little more than two shares," Buffett said at his annual shareholder meeting. "And so far, two shares of Berkshire's been better."

Buffett's comments on gold come as little surprise to gold investors who have been aware of the Oracle of Omaha's disinterest in the yellow metal.

"It's a non-interest-bearing asset," said Streible. "Now silver on the other hand, Warren Buffett has been known to hold certain degrees of silver. I think that if silver prices work their way a bit lower it could be something that does interest him or platinum or copper, but otherwise gold not just an event at all for Warren Buffett."

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