Gold Rebounds From Eight-Month Low Amid Syria Airstrikes

Gold advanced from an eight-month low after airstrikes in Syria boosted demand for the metal as a haven.

The U.S. and its Arab allies launched a barrage of airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria. Sales of gold coins by the U.S. Mint reached 43,200 ounces so far in September, heading for the best month since June and topping August’s total by 73 percent. Bullion has declined 7.6 percent this quarter.

“Gold is getting some temporary support from the bombs,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Physical demand is expected to rise after the big drop in the past few weeks.”

Gold futures for December delivery added 0.3 percent to settle at $1,222 an ounce at 1:37 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices reached $1,208.80 yesterday, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 2, and ended 2013 at $1,202.30.

Trading was 21 percent above the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The metal is heading for the second monthly drop in three on concern that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates and as inflation remained muted. Last year, prices slumped 28 percent as the U.S. central bank moved to slowing the pace of monetary stimulus.

The Fed on Sept. 17 reduced monthly bond purchases to $15 billion, keeping it on track to announce an end to the program in October. Policy makers also raised their median estimate for the federal funds rate at the end of 2015 to 1.375 percent from 1.125 percent in June.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1,332.70 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery climbed 1.6 percent to $815.80 an ounce, the biggest jump since Sept. 4.

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