Fed Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said at a press conference after the central bank’s statement that the option of further large- scale bond purchases is still “on the table.” Gold has jumped 28 percent in the past 12 months, partly as record-low rates boosted the appeal of the metal as a hedge against inflation.
“We saw an immediate reaction in gold” after the Fed’s announcement, Michael A. Gayed, the chief investment strategist who helps oversee $150 million at New York-based Pension Partners LLC, said in a telephone interview. “People are betting that at some point the economy will face inflationary pressures because of the low interest rate.”
Gold futures for April delivery climbed 2.1 percent to close at $1,703 an ounce at 1:44 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain since Jan. 3. In electronic trading after the settlement, the metal reached $1,716.10, the highest for a most- active contract since Dec. 12.
The price topped the 50-day and 100-day moving averages, a chart signal that some analysts perceive as bullish. The metal closed above the 200-day moving average on Jan. 10.
Silver futures for March delivery in New York jumped 3.6 percent to close at $33.121 an ounce. In electronic trading, the price reached $33.40, the highest since Dec. 2.
This month, silver has surged 19 percent, and gold has gained 8.7 percent.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery advanced 1.8 percent to $1,579.60 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 1.9 percent to $693.35 an ounce.
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