Gold Reaches Two-Week High as Commodities Gain on Budget

Gold futures rose to a two-week high as commodities gained after U.S. lawmakers passed a budget accord. Palladium advanced to the costliest in 10 months, and silver jumped the most in eight weeks.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials gained as much as 1.6 percent after the House of Representatives approved a bill that prevents income taxes from rising for most U.S. workers. Industrial metals also jumped, while equities rallied.

“Markets reacted positively to news that a deal of sorts has been reached,” Steve Scacalossi, a New York-based vice president at TD Securities Inc., said in an e-mail.

Gold futures for February delivery rose 0.8 percent to settle at $1,688.80 an ounce at 1:38 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,695.40, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 18. Floor trading was closed yesterday for the New Year’s holiday.

In 2012, the metal gained 7 percent, advancing for the 12th straight year, as central banks from the U.S. to China pledged more steps to bolster their economies.

President Barack Obama said he will sign the bill passed by Congress that makes the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts permanent for most workers while letting them expire for top earners.

The bipartisan vote in the House broke a yearlong impasse over how to head off $600 billion in tax increases and spending reductions that had been set to begin taking effect at the start of this year. Those measures may have triggered a recession, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Palladium futures for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to $707.95 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the price reached $718.85, the highest since March 2.

Silver futures for March delivery surged 2.6 percent to $31.007 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest increase since Nov. 6.

Platinum futures for April delivery gained 1.7 percent to $1,568 an ounce on the Nymex, the biggest gain since Nov. 23.

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