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Gold Rises, Silver Jumps on Economic Stimulus Outlook

Gold rose to a one-week high and silver jumped the most since January on speculation that central bankers in major economies will take more steps to bolster their economies, boosting demand for the metals as stores of value.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled in a speech yesterday that the economy has room for improvement. Government data showed today that China’s inflation in March eased more than forecast from a 10-month high, reducing pressure on policy makers to tighten credit. The Bank of Japan last week announced stimulus measures.

“Gold is finding support from what Bernanke said and expectations of easing in China,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for June delivery climbed 0.9 percent to settle at $1,586.70 an ounce at 1:38 p.m. Earlier, the price reached $1,590.10, the highest for a most-active contract since April 2.

Silver futures for May delivery increased 2.7 percent to $27.881 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest gain since Jan. 30.

In 2012, gold advanced 7 percent, the 12th straight annual gain, as nations from the U.S. to China pledged more stimulus. The price has declined 5.3 percent this year as the dollar gained 3.2 percent against a basket of six major currencies and investors sold holdings in exchange-traded products backed by the metal.

Today, Deutsche Bank AG cut its 2013 gold forecast by 12 percent to $1,637. In a report, the bank cited rising U.S. real interest rates and signs that a “long-term uptrend” for the dollar will curb bullion demand.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery rose 1 percent to $1,553.10 an ounce. The price climbed for the third straight session, the longest rally in two months.

Palladium futures for June delivery advanced 0.4 percent to $733 an ounce on the Nymex.

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