Gold Rises Most in 2 Weeks as Dollar Slide Signals Weak Economy

Gold posted the biggest gain in almost two weeks as a weakening dollar signaled investors expect government reports tomorrow will show sluggish U.S. economic growth. Palladium extended a rally to the highest since August.

The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index, a measure against 10 currencies, declined for the second day this week. Government reports tomorrow probably will show economic growth slowed last quarter and that employers hired fewer workers in October compared with September, according to separate Bloomberg surveys of economists. The Federal Reserve at its last meeting decided to continue its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases to boost growth.

“This economy cannot be yet called a healthy one,” Chris Gaffney, the senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management in St. Louis, said in a telephone interview. “The dollar’s weakness is helping gold.”

Gold futures for December delivery gained 0.7 percent to settle at $1,317.80 an ounce at 1:46 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest jump since Oct. 24.

This year, prices have fallen 21 percent, heading for the first annual drop since 2000. Some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value amid a U.S. equity rally and low inflation. The Fed will start cutting debt purchases in March, according to an Oct. 17-18 Bloomberg News survey of economists.

Silver futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $21.768 an ounce in New York.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for December delivery climbed 1.9 percent to $764.35 an ounce, after reaching $764.95, the highest since Aug. 16. Platinum futures for January delivery added 1.2 percent to $1,467.40 an ounce.

South African mines account for about 72 percent of platinum output and 36 percent for palladium, according to Barclays Plc. A strike that began Nov. 3 at Northam Platinum Ltd. in the country over wages continued, and the National Union of Mineworkers will meet tomorrow to discuss a wage offer to avert a work stoppage, Ecliff Tantsi, NUM’s chief negotiator.

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