Gold futures rose to a record settlement price for the second straight day after U.S. wholesale costs rose more than forecast in July, spurring demand for the precious metal as a hedge against inflation.
An index of producer prices gained 0.2 percent last month, the Labor Department said today. Economists forecast a 0.1 percent increase. The so-called core measure, which excludes food and energy, climbed 0.4 percent, the most since January. The dollar fell as much as 0.8 percent against a six-currency basket. Gold has gained 26 percent this year, reaching an intraday all-time high of $1,817.60 an ounce on Aug. 11.
“The inflationary story is back,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior strategist at MF Global Holdings Ltd. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The weaker dollar is also helping gold.”
Gold futures for December delivery rose $8.80, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $1,793.80 an ounce at 1:41 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has outperformed global equities, commodities and Treasuries in 2011 as Europe’s debt crisis and the threat of slowing global growth boosted demand for an investment haven.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy rejected an expansion of the euro region’s rescue fund and rebuffed calls for joint euro borrowing, while Switzerland’s central bank said it will take further measures if needed to combat the Swiss currency’s strength.
“Gold is still the most-appealing asset in the short run, while uncertainty over the euro zone’s future will not evaporate overnight,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in a report.
Silver futures for December delivery rose 53 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $40.378 an ounce in New York. The price has climbed 31 percent this year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for September delivery climbed $19.40, or 2.6 percent, to $775.90 an ounce, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since July 26.
Platinum futures for October delivery advanced $22.70, or 1.2 percent, to $1,840.80 an ounce. That marked the eighth straight gain, the longest rally since October 2007.
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