War jitters from the increasing tensions between the United States and Libya sent oil and gold futures prices higher Friday.
And the oil market, which closed stronger for the ninth time in the last 10 sessions, helped force Treasury bond futures lower.
“Traders were looking at the possibility of some military action over the weekend,” said Nauman Barakat, an analyst in New York with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.
While oil prices were struggling into the positive column on the New York Mercantile Exchange, two U.S. carriers headed toward Mediterranean battle stations for possible strikes against Libya.
Prices took an added spurt upward on a rumor that President Reagan was about to make a statement on the possible confrontation, then fell back on the rumor’s denial.
Traders also were looking ahead to the meeting next Tuesday of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Meanwhile, at the Commodity Exchange in New York, gold futures advanced strongly, mostly on the possibility of military action, said Gary Dorsch, an analyst with G. H. Miller & Co.
However, he said, the major influence on gold is the perception about inflation and “at the moment that doesn’t appear to be of much concern.”