July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures gained for the sixth time in seven sessions as the dollar’s drop increased demand for the metal as alternative investment on speculation that the Federal Reserve will maintain its monetary stimulus.
The Bloomberg Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against 10 major currencies, fell as much as 0.6 percent. Gold jumped 5.4 percent last week as Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said that “highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed.” He is scheduled to testify tomorrow before a congressional committee.
“The weakness in the dollar is keeping gold well supported,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “People expect Bernanke to repeat what he said last week.”
Gold futures for August delivery gained 0.5 percent to settle at $1,290.40 an ounce at 1:44 p.m. on the Comex in New York. On July 11, the price reached $1,297.20, the highest for a most-active contract since June 24.
Futures have plunged 23 percent this year, erasing $59.3 billion from the value of exchange-traded products backed by the metal. Some investors lost faith in gold amid an equity rally and muted inflation. The commodity’s drop to a 34-month low on June 28 spurred more demand for coins, bars and jewelry.
Silver futures for September delivery rose 0.5 percent to $19.935 an ounce on the Comex. Trading was 53 percent below the average in the past 100 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Palladium futures for September delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $735.60 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price climbed for the seventh straight session, the longest rally since September. The metal reached $737.25, the highest since June 13.
Platinum futures for October delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,425.10 an ounce. Earlier, the price reached $1,434.90, the highest since June 19.
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