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Gold Climbs as Yellen Signals Continued Federal Reserve Stimulus

Gold gained after Federal Reserve Chairman nominee Janet Yellen signaled she will carry on with U.S. monetary stimulus and more Americans than forecast filed claims for jobless benefits.

Yellen said in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee today that the central bank should take care not to withdraw stimulus too early, “especially when the recovery is fragile.” Jobless claims in the week ended Nov. 9 declined 2,000 to 339,000, the Labor Department said today. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 330,000.

“The initial claims are worse than expected, giving gold a boost,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates, said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “The dovish statements from Yellen are also very supportive.”

Gold futures for delivery in December gained 1.4 percent to settle at $1,286.30 an ounce at 1:47 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal snapped five straight sessions of losses, the longest slump since August. Bullion for immediate delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1,284.55 an ounce in London.

Prices have tumbled 23 percent in 2013 as signs of economic recovery spurred speculation that the Fed will start to cut its monthly bond buying, strengthening the dollar. Global bullion demand fell 21 percent in the third quarter as investors continued to dump holdings of the metal through exchange-traded funds and central banks slowed purchases, the World Gold Council said.

“The market is re-appraising its expectations for Fed tapering given Yellen’s clearly dovish comments,” said Nic Brown, head of commodity research at Natixis SA in London.

Global Demand

In the third quarter, global bullion demand slipped to 868.5 metric tons, from 1,101.4 tons a year earlier, the London-based World Gold Council said today in a report. Investors pulled 118.7 tons out of ETFs and similar products, while buying from central banks fell 17 percent, the council said.

Assets in gold-backed ETFs shrank 29 percent in 2013 after gaining every year since the first products were listed in 2003, data tracked by Bloomberg show. Some investors have lost faith in the metal as a store of value amid a rally in global equities and low inflation.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery jumped 0.8 percent to $1,444.10 an ounce, and palladium futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $739.80 an ounce.

The largest union at Anglo American Platinum Ltd.’s South African mines got permission to strike after a mediator failed to resolve a wage deadlock between the labor group and the world’s biggest producer of the metal.

Silver futures for December delivery increased 1.4 percent to $20.722 an ounce on the Comex, snapping five sessions of losses.

To contact the reporters on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net; Joe Richter in New York at jrichter1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Millie Munshi at mmunshi@bloomberg.net

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