Gold rose the most this month, capping an 11th straight annual advance, on speculation that demand will climb from jewelers and investors.
Gold fell 4.7 percent in the previous six sessions to the lowest since July 7 as the dollar gained against the euro, curbing demand for the metal as an alternative investment. That may boost seasonal purchases, said Marc Ground, a commodities strategist at Standard Bank Plc. In the first quarter of 2011, jewelry demand jumped 12 percent from a year earlier in India, the world’s biggest buyer, according to World Gold Council data.
“While we haven’t seen physical demand pick up yet, maybe people are anticipating it for next year,” Ground said in a telephone interview from Johannesburg. “January and February are usually good months in India, and a lower gold price might attract some buyers.”
Gold futures for February delivery climbed 1.7 percent to settle at $1,566.80 an ounce at 1:35 p.m. on the Comex in New York, ending a six-session slump that was the longest since March 2009.
While bullion gained 10 percent this year, prices have plunged as much as 21 percent since touching a record $1,923.70 on Sept. 6.
Dennis Gartman, the economist and editor of the Gartman Letter, said he is “about to become bullish” after being neutral since mid-November.
“We did not expect to see gold hold as well as it has or did in the past 24 hours,” Gartman wrote in his letter e-mailed today.
Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by bullion are climbing for the first time in three weeks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Assets rose 0.3 percent this week after falling 1.5 percent the previous two weeks.
“We are seeing some buyers come in as the market looks oversold at current levels,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Silver futures for March delivery jumped 2.2 percent to $27.915 an ounce on the Comex, paring its decline for 2011 to 9.8 percent, the first annual drop since 2008.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery climbed 5.2 percent to $656.15 an ounce, rising the most since Oct. 21. The metal still dropped 18 percent in 2011. Platinum futures for April delivery advanced 2.8 percent to $1,404.90 an ounce. It’s declined 21 percent this year.
Comex floor trading will be closed on Jan. 2 in observance of the New Year’s holiday.