Gold headed for the best weekly performance since October 2011 after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke called for maintaining stimulus, while assets in the largest bullion-backed exchange-traded product held steady.
Spot gold traded at $1,282.21 an ounce at 2:08 p.m. in Singapore from $1,286.20 yesterday, when prices climbed for a fourth day to $1,298.73, the highest since June 24. The metal is poised for a 4.8 percent gain this week. Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded product, were unchanged yesterday after declining for four days.
Gold fell 23 percent last quarter as Bernanke signaled the central bank’s asset-buying program could be tapered should the economy continue to improve. This week he said that “highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed,” and minutes of the Fed’s June meeting showed that officials would want to see more signs of job growth before trimming their $85 billion-a-month asset purchases.
“The FOMC minutes confirmed they’ll keep the stimulus,” said Alexandra Knight, an economist at National Australia Bank Ltd., referring to the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy. “Expectations are for tapering not to occur quite as quickly as was previously anticipated.”
Gold for August delivery was little changed at $1,281 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after increasing for four days. Futures are up 5.6 percent this week in the best showing since October 2011. Nineteen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week, nine were bearish and three neutral.
Silver for immediate delivery dropped as much as 1.2 percent to $19.9256 an ounce, declining for the first time this week, and traded at $19.9825. Still, the metal has rallied 5.7 percent this week, heading for the biggest weekly increase since September 2012.
Spot platinum rose as much as 0.6 percent to $1,416.60 an ounce, the highest since June 20, set to snap four weeks of losses. Palladium was little changed at $720.95 an ounce, heading for a second weekly gain.
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