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Gold Advances as Yellen Says Economic Data Points to ‘Softness’

Gold futures rose after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said recent data have pointed to “softness” in the U.S. economy, increasing demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

“Part of that softness may reflect adverse weather conditions, but at this point it’s difficult to discern exactly how much,” Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee today. This year, gold has gained 11 percent. In 2013, the metal plunged 28 percent, the most since 1981, amid a U.S. equity rally to a record and muted inflation.