Gold Gains First Time in Four Days on Increased Physical Demand

Gold rose for the first time this week on speculation that demand for bars, coins and jewelry increased and as investors awaited a U.S. jobs report tomorrow.

The U.K.’s Royal Mint said it ran out of 2014 Sovereign gold coins as lower prices spurred demand. Futures fell 1.1 percent in the past three sessions. The price tumbled 28 percent last year, the most since 1981, after some investors lost faith in the metal as U.S. growth rebounded.

“Demand for gold coins and bars was very strong last year on account of the falling prices, a trend which appears to be continuing at the start of the year,” Commerzbank AG analysts including Frankfurt-based Daniel Briesemann said in a report.

Gold futures for February delivery added 0.3 percent to settle at $1,229.40 an ounce at 1:51 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

Earlier, prices dropped as much as 0.2 percent. A U.S. government report showed jobless claims in the U.S. fell by 15,000 to 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 4, signaling an improving economy and lower demand for bullion as a store of value.

Labor Department figures tomorrow are projected to show the world’s largest economy added more jobs in 2013 than at any point in the past eight years.

“The market is waiting for tomorrow’s numbers,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There is some physical demand at lower prices.”

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting released yesterday showed some officials saw diminishing economic benefits from purchasing debt.

Silver futures for March delivery gained 0.7 percent to $19.683 an ounce on the Comex.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery declined 0.2 percent to $736.50 an ounce. Platinum futures for April rose 0.4 percent to $1,419.90 an ounce, the first gain in three days.

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