Gold futures gained the most a week as demand increased in China, the world’s second-biggest buyer.
Imports by China from Hong Kong almost doubled in November from a month earlier, government data showed today. The U.S. Mint has sold 71,500 ounces of American Eagle gold coins this month, compared with 76,000 ounces for all of December. On Jan. 4, futures touched a four-month low on signals from the Federal Reserve that its latest stimulus program may end this year.
“Last week’s price drop has attracted buyers,” Anthem Blanchard, the chief executive officer of Blanchard Vault, a Las Vegas-based online retailer of gold and silver, said in a telephone interview. “We are also seeing elevated demand from China.”
Gold futures for February delivery rose 1 percent to settle at $1,662.20 an ounce at 1:48 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Dec. 31. The price dropped 2.5 percent in the previous three sessions.
A measure of trading on the Shanghai Gold Exchange surged to a record yesterday, according to data tracked by Bloomberg.
Japanese pension funds will more than double their gold holdings to 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) by 2015 as the new government pushes for a higher inflation target, Itsuo Toshima, an adviser to the funds, said in an interview.
India is the top gold buyer.
Silver futures for March delivery rose 1.3 percent to $30.465 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest gain since Jan. 2. On Jan. 4, the price touched $29.24, the lowest since Aug. 21.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery gained 1.7 percent to $1,583.20 an ounce, the biggest gain since Nov. 23.
Palladium futures for March delivery fell 0.3 percent to $667.85 an ounce. The price declined for the fourth straight session, the longest slump in 10 weeks.