Gold reached a one-week high in London on slowing Chinese inflation and expectations that a report may show rising U.S. jobless claims, boosting optimism central banks might take steps to bolster the global economy.
Growth in China’s industrial production also cooled in July, and central banks in Japan and South Korea saw little sign of price pressures, underscoring the scope for monetary stimulus should the European debt crisis deepen. Weekly U.S. jobless claims rose to 370,000, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists before the Labor Department issues the figure today.
“Any relaxation of monetary policy is likely to be very positive for gold,” said Saeed Amen, an analyst at Nomura International Plc in London. “Gold isn’t fully pricing in further easing.”
Bullion for immediate delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1,615.19 an ounce by 8:58 a.m. in London. Prices reached $1,618.80, the highest level since July 31. December-delivery gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,617.70 on the Comex in New York.
“There is still QE thinking in the background of gold prices,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, referring to quantitative easing. “It won’t go away until we see the U.S. in full recovery mode. That’s certainly not happening at the moment.”
Consumer prices in China rose 1.8 percent from a year earlier, the lowest rate since January 2010, said the National Bureau of Statistics. Retail sales weakened and growth in industrial production was below 10 percent for a fourth month and at the lowest level since 2009, data showed.
Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by gold gained 0.3 percent to 2,411.7 metric tons yesterday, the highest since July 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Silver for immediate delivery added 0.4 percent to $28.1563 an ounce. Platinum climbed 0.5 percent to $1,416.12 an ounce, the highest since Aug. 3. Palladium rose 0.5 percent to $590.08 an ounce, the highest since Aug. 1.