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Expand chart

U.S. equities have been both resilient and rangebound following the killing of Iran Gen. Qasem Soleimani, but gold has seen a major boost, jumping to its highest level in close to seven years and continuing to climb.

The big picture: Even in the face of better-than-expected U.S. data released Tuesday morning, gold edged higher.

  • It then took another leg up after Iran retaliated against the U.S. by striking U.S.-Iraqi bases Tuesday night.

Details: Gold prices have gained nearly 4% in the nascent year and the commodity has been one of the best performing assets in the world.

  • Gold trails only returns for orange juice (yes, really), a gauge of energy infrastructure Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), and the rebounding Chilean benchmark stock index, per FactSet data.
  • It has delivered about triple the return of the Nasdaq and more than quadruple the S&P 500.
  • Even crude oil (up 2.7% YTD), which also has gotten a price bump from the growing unease in the Middle East, has fallen well short of gold's gains so far in 2020.

Go deeper: Gold mining companies are shunning big projects despite rising prices

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Podcasts

Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 20 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.