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Gold Futures Advance on Bets Japan to Increase Stimulus Measures

Gold futures rose in New York on speculation that Japan’s new government will act to bolster the economy.

Japan’s premier Shinzo Abe said today his government’s mission is to restore a strong economy. Minutes of the Bank of Japan’s November meeting showed that a board member suggested conducting open-ended asset purchases. Gold prices, up 6 percent this year, are headed for a 12th straight annual gain as governments and central banks in Japan, Europe and the U.S. boosted measures to shore up growth.

“News about Japan planning to announce some stimulus measures is perking up the market,” Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We may see some sharp moves in this very thinly-traded market.”

Gold futures for February delivery gained 0.1 percent to settle at $1,660.70 an ounce at 1:37 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The exchange was closed yesterday for the Christmas holiday.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $30.035 an ounce in New York.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery added 10 cents to $1,539 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery rose 1.1 percent to $692.40 an ounce.

Trading in the U.K. is closed today for Boxing Day.

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