Gold Rises as Dollar’s Weakness Boosts Demand for Alternative

Gold rose for a fourth straight day after the dollar weakened, boosting the appeal of the precious metal and commodities as alternative investments.

The dollar fell for a second day against a basket of six major currencies after a report showed pending home sales unexpectedly advanced in October. The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities jumped as much as 1 percent. Gold is headed for the 10th straight annual gain, touching a record $1,424.30 an ounce on Nov. 9.

“Gold is up primarily on dollar weakness and economic optimism,” said Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist for Lind-Waldock in Chicago. “This is very positive for gold on the future inflation front.”

Gold futures for February delivery rose $1, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $1,389.30 an ounce at 2:05 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,399.70, the highest since Nov. 12. The metal has gained 27 percent in 2010.

The index of pending home resales jumped a record 10 percent after dropping 1.8 percent in September, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 1 percent decrease. The group’s statistics go back to 2001.

Better Economic Data

“Gold is moving up on better economic data,” said Frank Lesh, a trader at Futurepath Trading in Chicago. “The risk trade is on.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained as much as 1.3 percent, after rising 2.2 percent yesterday.

Gold’s gains were limited after some investors sold because the price failed to breach $1,400.

“Gold is still being drawn to the $1,400 psychological number,” said Matt Zeman, a metals trader at LaSalle Futures Group in Chicago.

Gold assets in exchange-traded products rose 7.65 tons to 2,094.48 tons yesterday, the highest amount since Oct. 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from 10 providers. Holdings reached a record 2,104.65 tons on Oct. 14. Silver investments gained 71.45 tons to 14,851.49 tons, data from four providers show.

Silver futures for March delivery climbed 15.9 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $28.572 an ounce on the Comex. The metal has gained 70 percent this year.

Palladium futures for March delivery advanced $31.40, or 4.3 percent, to $763.70 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the metal increased as much as 5.7 percent to $773.90, the highest price since April 2001.

Platinum futures for January delivery rose $29.10, or 1.7 percent, to $1,713.10 an ounce.

Platinum and palladium are used to make pollution-control devices for cars. U.S. sales of light vehicles rose 17 percent in November, Autodata Corp. said yesterday. The seasonally adjusted annual-sales rate was 12.3 million, matching the October rate that was the fastest since the U.S. government’s “cash for clunkers” program in 2009.

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