Gold Rises to Two-Week High on Physical Demand; Platinum Gains

Gold futures rose to a two-week high amid signs of increasing demand for bars and coins. Platinum climbed to the highest since November.

The premium to take immediate delivery of gold in China, the world’s biggest consumer, was $20 an ounce today, compared with last month’s average of $15.35. Istanbul Gold Exchange data yesterday showed Turkey’s imports increased 64 percent in December. On Dec. 31, futures in New York touched $1,181.40, the lowest since June.

“A lot of people are seeing the drop as an opportunity to accumulate gold,” Miguel Perez-Santalla, a vice president at New York-based BullionVault, an online service for buying physical metal, said in a telephone interview. “We are seeing some traders also increase positions.”

Gold futures for February delivery climbed 1.1 percent to settle at $1,238.60 at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,239.60, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 18. This week, the metal rose 2 percent, the most since Oct. 25.

In 2013, gold tumbled 28 percent, the most since 1981 and the first drop since 2000. Some investors lost faith in the metal as an alternative investment amid a U.S. equity rally to a record and muted inflation.

China’s consumption of jewelry, bars and coins rose 30 percent to 996.3 metric tons in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, while usage in India, the second-biggest buyer, gained 24 percent to 977.6 tons, according to the London-based World Gold Council.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery rose 0.7 percent to $1,414.20 an ounce. Earlier, the price reached $1,418, the highest since Nov. 20. This week, the metal advanced 2.6 percent.

On the Comex, silver futures for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $20.211 an ounce. Palladium futures for March delivery advanced 0.1 percent to $731.20 an ounce on the Nymex.

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