Gold futures gained for the first time in three days after an unexpected rise in U.S. jobless claims spurred demand for the metal as a haven asset.
Claims for unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to 414,000 in the week ended Sept. 3, the government said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a drop to 405,000, according to the median forecast. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said policy makers will discuss this month the tools that they may use to boost the recovery. Yesterday, gold tumbled 3 percent after surging to a record $1,923.70 an ounce on Sept. 6.
“Things aren’t looking very positive, and the market continues to remain skittish,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at MF Global Holdings Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We need some results to show that jobs will be created.”
Gold futures for December delivery gained $39.90, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $1,857.50 at 2:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has gained 31 percent this year as debt woes mounted in Europe and the U.S.
Spot gold is in the 11th year of a bull market, the longest winning streak since at least 1920, as investors seek to diversify from equities and some currencies. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said today that risks to the economic recovery have intensified.
Yesterday, UBS AG boosted its forecast for the 2012 average price of gold by 50 percent to $2,075. The bank cited a “potentially explosive cocktail” for the metal amid low interest rates, escalating debt in Europe and the risk of a U.S. recession.
‘Poor’ Macro Trend
“The main trend is that things will remain poor from a macro perspective, and that will support gold,” Dan Smith, an analyst at Standard Chartered Plc in London, said in a phone interview. “We’re heading into a good period for seasonal demand, and people are taking the opportunity to pick up gold on these dips.”
Silver futures for December delivery rose 89.9 cents, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $42.53 an ounce on the Comex. The price has gained 37 percent this year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery rose $25.80, or 1.4 percent, to $1,854.50 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery gained $12.60, or 1.7 percent, to $765.30 an ounce.
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