Gold futures topped $1,750 an ounce, heading for the biggest weekly gain since January 2009, as the dollar’s tumble spurred demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.
The greenback fell the most since March 2009 against a basket of major currencies after European leaders agreed to expand a bailout fund. Gold has climbed 23 percent this year, while the dollar has dropped 5.1 percent. Industrial metals, energy and grain also climbed today. Silver was poised for the largest weekly gain since September 2008.
“The dollar’s weakness and inflationary fears because of Europe’s actions are making people move toward gold,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Gold futures for December delivery rose 1.4 percent to settle at $1,747.70 at 2:22 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the most-active contract reached $1,751.30, the highest since Sept. 23. The price has climbed 6.8 percent this week.
The metal gained for the fifth straight session, the longest rally in two months. The yen rose to a record against the dollar, and the euro climbed the most in a year.
Silver futures for December delivery surged 5.4 percent to $35.112 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest jump since Oct. 6. The metal has climbed 13 percent this week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery advanced 2.8 percent to $1,641.40 an ounce. This week, the metal has jumped 8.8 percent, heading for the biggest gain since May 2008.
Palladium futures for December delivery climbed 3.7 percent to $669.90 an ounce.