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Gold Futures Advance on China Inflation, Physical Demand

Gold futures climbed for the second straight day as accelerating inflation in China boosted the appeal of the metal as a hedge, while demand increased for jewelry, coins and bars.

China’s consumer-price index rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier, government data showed today. That compared with a median estimate of 2.5 percent in a Bloomberg survey. Demand in Asia for gold has been underpinned by reports of purchases in China, Standard Bank Plc said in a report.

“Prices got a boost on news that China’s inflation rate heated up a bit,” Peter Hug, the global trading director of Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report. “We are seeing some continued physical demand from the Far East.”

Gold futures for August delivery advanced 0.9 percent to settle at $1,245.90 at 1:46 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal gained 1.8 percent yesterday.

The one-month lease rate for gold rose to 0.2988 percent, the highest since December 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rate is derived by subtracting the gold forward offered rate from the London Interbank Offered Rate. The higher cost may indicate a scarcity of metal, according to the London Bullion Market Association.

Gold has slumped 26 percent this year, wiping out $61.9 billion from the value of exchange-traded products backed by the metal. Some investors lost faith in the commodity as a store of value amid a rally in equities and low U.S. inflation.

Silver futures for September delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $19.138 an ounce on the Comex. Yesterday, the price increased 1.6 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $1,368.60 an ounce.

Palladium futures for September delivery gained 0.3 percent to $697.35 an ounce. Earlier, the price reached $705, the highest since June 19.

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