Gold, Silver Advance as U.S. Budget Concerns Escalate

Gold and silver futures rose for the first time in four sessions on mounting concern that U.S. budget negotiations have stalled, raising the risk of a government shutdown.

The Senate advanced a stopgap spending measure after Republican Ted Cruz defied party leaders by staging an extended speech that lasted more than 21 hours. By a vote of 100-0, with 60 votes required, the Senate will debate the House bill passed Sept. 20. The next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

“Worries about the U.S. government shutting down are pushing people to gold,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Gold futures for delivery in December rose 1.5 percent to settle at $1,336.20 an ounce at 1:52 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price declined 3.9 percent in the previous three sessions.

The U.S. faced an impasse over raising the debt ceiling in 2011 before Congress approved a plan to head off a default that was signed by the president that August. Gold reached a record $1,923.70 on Sept. 6, 2011.

Bullion has dropped 20 percent this year as some investors lost faith in the metal amid a U.S. equity rally to a record and low inflation.

Increased Reserves

In August, the price climbed 6.3 percent, partly because of escalating tensions between the U.S. and Syria. Last month, Russia and Kazakhstan were among nations that increased gold reserves, International Monetary Fund data showed today.

Silver futures for December delivery added 1.4 percent to $21.886 an ounce on the Comex. The price tumbled 7.3 percent in the previous three sessions.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery gained 0.7 percent to $1,432.30 an ounce.

In South Africa, the world’s biggest producer, Anglo American Platinum Ltd. faces a legal challenge and strikes over plans to fire 3,300 workers.

Palladium futures for December delivery increased 0.8 percent to $725.70 an ounce.

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