Gold Poised to Advance for Third Day on Stimulus Speculation

Gold is set to gain for a third day, paring a weekly loss, on speculation governments from China to U.S. may take steps to spur growth. Platinum rose to a five-week high after production disruptions at a mine in South Africa.

Gold for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.2 percent to $1,618.52 an ounce and was at $1,617.90 at 2:48 p.m. in Singapore. The price is down 0.1 percent this week. December-delivery bullion was little changed at $1,620.10 on the Comex in New York.

While U.S. housing permits rose to the highest since August 2008, jobless claims climbed by 2,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Aug. 11, reports showed yesterday. Unemployment has been above 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch in the post-World War II era. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Aug. 15 that there’s “growing room for monetary policy operation.” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may talk about monetary options at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at the end of the month.

“The U.S. economic recovery is still fairly opaque,” said Gavin Wendt, founder and senior resource analyst at Mine Life Pty in Sydney. “There isn’t a lot of growth. We’ve seen some bright spots but sometimes they turn into dark spots the next time the data comes out.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Central Bank’s insistence on conditionality in return for helping lower borrowing costs for indebted countries matches her priorities.

Holdings in exchange-traded products were little changed at 2,416.7 metric tons yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Lonmin Strike

Spot platinum gained as much as 0.6 percent to $1,450 an ounce, the highest since July 10, before trading at $1,449.50. The metal rallied 3.3 percent yesterday amid disruptions at the mine owned by Lonmin Plc, the third-biggest producer.

More than 30 workers were killed and several others injured after police shot striking miners near Lonmin’s Marikana platinum-mining complex in South Africa yesterday as violence at the mine escalated, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said in an interview with Johannesburg-based 702 Talk Radio today. A six-day work stoppage had already led to deaths of 10 people before yesterday’s clash.

Platinum, used to make autocatalysts and jewelry, is set to climb 3.2 percent this week, the biggest gain since the five days ended June 15.

Spot silver declined as much as 0.3 percent to $28.1388 an ounce and was at $28.2425. The metal is heading for a 0.4 percent gain this week. Palladium climbed as much as 0.9 percent to $589.50 an ounce and was last at $589.

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