Gold Future Heads for Biggest Weekly Gain Since January

Gold futures capped the biggest weekly gain since January as speculation that the U.S. will expand monetary stimulus following President Barack Obama’s re-election bolstered demand for the metal as a store of value.

Mitt Romney, the loser in the election, criticized Federal Reserve policies and said he would replace Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. The U.S. risks entering a recession should policy makers fail to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts next year, Fitch Ratings said.

“Global stimulus announcements and negative real interest rates are helping gold,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “Also, some investors are buying gold to hedge against the uncertainty surrounding the tax program and fiscal cliff.”

Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,730.90 an ounce at 1:33 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,739.40, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 19.

This week, the metal has climbed 3.3 percent, the most since Jan. 27. Gold dropped in the previous four weeks, the longest slump since September 2011.

Demand in India, the world’s biggest user last year, may climb as much as 15 percent this quarter as festivals boost sales, Rajesh Exports Ltd., a jewelry maker, said.

Silver futures for December delivery gained 1.1 percent to $32.599 an ounce, extending the weekly advance climb to 5.6 percent and the first gain in eight weeks. Earlier, the price reached $32.785, the highest since Oct. 19.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery rose 1.1 percent to close at $1,559.40 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery slipped 0.5 percent to $611.05 an ounce.