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Gold Rises on Haven Demand; Boehner Backs Obama on Syria

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures rose for the first time in a week on demand for a haven asset as U.S. President Barack Obama won support from leaders in Congress for a military strike on Syria.

“I’m going to support the president’s call for action,” House Speaker John Boehner said today. Obama is seeking congressional approval for action against Syria for what his administration says was a sarin gas attack last month by the government in Damascus against its people.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the air,” Bill O’Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview. “The safe-haven appeal for gold is back.”

Gold futures for December delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at $1,412 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the first advance since Aug. 27. On that date, the price jumped 1.9 percent to the highest since mid-May after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Syria will be held accountable for using chemical weapons. The metal advanced 6.3 percent in August.

Today, Israel conducted what it called a joint test with the U.S. of its Arrow Ballistic Missile Defense system over the Mediterranean Sea. The Israeli Defense Ministry called it a success.

Gold has climbed almost 20 percent from a 34-month low of $1,179.40 an ounce on June 28. The commodity entered a bear market in April, dropping 16 percent this year, as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value amid an equity rally and low inflation.

Silver futures for December delivery jumped 3.9 percent to $24.429 an ounce, the biggest gain since Aug. 15.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $1,538.20 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery fell 0.8 percent to $717.95 an ounce. The price dropped for the fourth straight session, the longest slump in 10 weeks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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