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Gold Tops $1,700 on Bets Central Banks to Boost Stimulus

Gold futures topped $1,700 an ounce for the first time since March on speculation that a sluggish global economy will spur central bankers to boost monetary stimulus, increasing demand for the metal as an inflation hedge.

In August, a U.S. factory index showed contraction for the third straight month, and manufacturing in the euro area shrank more than estimated, suggesting the region’s economy may struggle to avoid a recession in the third quarter. Last month, gold’s jumped 4.5 percent, the most since January.