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Gold Advances for Third Time in Four Days on Spain Bailout Talks

Gold gained for the third time in four days amid expectations that Spain may receive emergency assistance over the weekend.

European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said that a Spanish request is “awaited” and will be “exclusively directed at the recapitalization of banks.” The bid may come as soon as tomorrow when finance ministers hold a conference call, according to a person familiar with the plans who declined to be identified because the matter is confidential.

“The market is hoping that we will hear about some kind of aid announcement this weekend,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “People want to cover their positions.”

Gold futures for August delivery climbed 0.2 percent to settle at $1,591.40 an ounce at 1:36 p.m. on the Comex in New York, trimming the weekly loss to 1.9 percent.

Yesterday, prices slumped the most in two months after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told lawmakers the central bank has options for further easing, while declining to specify them.

Bullion surged 70 percent from the end of December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed kept borrowing costs at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of so-called quantitative easing.

Silver futures for July delivery slid 0.2 percent to $28.471 an ounce on the Comex, declining 0.1 percent this week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery fell 1.1 percent to $1,425.10 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery dropped 2.2 percent to $612 an ounce.

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