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Gold Climbs to Two-Week High on European Debt Concern, Dollar

Gold gained for a third day, climbing to the highest level in more than two weeks in New York, as concern about Europe’s debt crisis boosted demand for a protection of wealth and as the dollar weakened.

The dollar slipped from the highest level in more than two months against the euro amid speculation European Central Bank policy makers meeting tomorrow may signal their willingness to act to prevent the spread of the region’s debt woes. Gold futures, which usually move inversely to the greenback, reached a record $1,424.30 an ounce on Nov. 9. The metal climbed to an all-time high priced in euros.

There are “too many complications in the euro zone and the U.S.,” said Bernard Sin, head of currency and metal trading at bullion refiner MKS Finance SA in Geneva. “People are long gold and probably will keep their long positions into the New Year.”

Gold futures for February delivery added as much as $12.20, or 0.9 percent, to $1,398.30 an ounce, the highest price since Nov. 12, and were at $1,395.60 at 8 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal for immediate delivery in London was 0.6 percent higher at $1,394.40.

Bullion rose to $1,391.50 an ounce in the morning “fixing” in London, used by some mining companies to sell output, from $1,383.50 at yesterday’s afternoon fixing.

Investor concern has shifted to burgeoning debt in Spain and Portugal after European governments bailed out Ireland, having earlier this year aided Greece. The ECB’s Governing Council will meet tomorrow amid speculation it will again delay its exit from emergency-liquidity measures. All 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expect the central bank to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1 percent.

Dollar ‘Uncertainty’

“Increasing uncertainty regarding the role of the U.S. dollar within the international monetary system, concerns related to the stability of peripheral euro zone countries and growing inflationary pressures in Asian emerging markets, particularly China” are supportive of gold, Anne-Laure Tremblay, a London-based analyst at BNP Paribas SA, wrote in a report dated yesterday. Gold may average $1,500 next year and $1,600 in 2012, she said.

Bullion for immediate delivery advanced to a record 1,070.474 euros an ounce today and an all-time high of 895.4353 British pounds, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The metal rose to a five-month high denominated in Swiss francs and was near the highest level since at least 1971 in Canadian dollars.

Silver for March delivery in New York gained 1.9 percent to $28.75 an ounce. It reached a 30-year high of $29.34 on Nov. 9 and is up 71 percent this year.

Palladium for March delivery rose 1.6 percent to $714.50 an ounce. Platinum for January delivery was 0.8 percent higher at $1,679.10 an ounce.

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