Gold Climbs to Five-Week High on Stimulus Speculation

Gold futures rose to a five-week high on speculation that central banks in the U.S. and Europe will add to stimulus programs in an effort to spur faltering economies.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will hold talks with Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann in the coming days on measures including bond purchases, two central bank officials said. Yesterday, Draghi said policy makers will do whatever is needed to save the euro. The U.S. economy cooled in the second quarter, government data showed today.

“It seems the ECB is pulling out at all stops to protect the euro,” William O’Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview. “The GDP numbers provided some support as expectations of some form of easing remain alive.”

Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1,622.70 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,633.30, the highest for a most-active contract since June 19. This week, the metal rose 2.5 percent, the most since June 1.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week that U.S. policy makers are “looking for ways to address the weakness in the economy should more action be needed to promote a sustained recovery in the labor market.”

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 September delivery rose 0.2 percent to $27.498 an ounce.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1,408.20 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery increased 0.3 percent to $571.85 an ounce.

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