Gold Rises on Inflation Concerns, Physical Metal Demand

Gold futures rose, capping the biggest weekly gain in two months, as demand improves for the metal as an inflation hedge, including by retail buyers of coins, bars and jewelry.

The U.S. consumer-price index rose more than projected in February after gasoline surged, a government report showed today. Physical demand remains robust, mainly from the Far East, Afshin Nabavi, a senior vice president at MKS (Switzerland) SA, a metal refiner in Geneva, said in a telephone interview. Gold is down 5 percent this year.

“Physical demand is providing support after the huge price slump,” Frank Trotter, the chief executive officer of EverBank Wealth Management in Jacksonville, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “The government is not concerned about inflation, even though the CPI is rising, and that may be a problem long term.”

Gold futures for April delivery added 0.1 percent to settle at $1,592.60 an ounce at 1:34 p.m. on the Comex in New York, extending the weekly gain to 1 percent, the most since Jan. 18.

Silver futures for May delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $28.851 an ounce. Prices are down 4.6 percent this year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1,592.40 an ounce, ending a four-day slide. Prices have risen 3.2 percent this year.

Palladium futures for June delivery jumped 0.6 percent to $775.65 an ounce, narrowing the week’s loss to 0.9 percent.