Gold traded little changed near the highest price in a month before a report that may show China halted a seven-quarter growth slowdown, curbing the outlook for additional stimulus. Platinum fell.
Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,688.25 an ounce at 9:55 a.m. in Singapore, poised to gain 1.5 percent this week, the most since Nov. 23. Prices gained to $1,696.28 an ounce yesterday, the highest since Dec. 18. Gold futures advanced as much as 2.3 percent to a record 4,907 yen a gram ($1,699 an ounce) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange today.
Gold advanced yesterday after a report showed manufacturing in the Philadelphia area unexpectedly contracted in January, increasing pressure on the U.S. central bank to expand stimulus. China’s gross domestic product expanded 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, up from a three-year low of 7.4 percent in the previous period, a Bloomberg survey showed.
The market “keeps an eye on China as a barometer to see how everyone else is going,” said David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney.
Gold gained 7.1 percent last year as stimulus programs in the U.S., Europe and Japan boosted the metal’s appeal as an alternative investment. China rolled out infrastructure projects to boost growth, while limited inflation allowed officials to hold off from raising interest rates.
Bullion for February delivery declined 0.2 percent to $1,687.50 an ounce on the Comex.
Silver for immediate delivery fell 0.2 percent to $31.6875 an ounce, set to climb 4 percent this week, the biggest gain since the period ended Nov. 23. Sales of 2013 American Eagle silver coins are suspended after “temporarily” selling out, the U.S. Mint said yesterday.
Spot platinum declined 0.4 percent to $1,686.25 an ounce, up 3.3 percent this week. The metal has rallied 10 percent this month on concern supplies will tighten. Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s biggest producer, said on Jan. 15 it will cut jobs and output in South Africa. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by platinum climbed to a record 52.9816 metric tons yesterday, data tracked by Bloomberg showed.
Palladium dropped 0.4 percent to $722.75 an ounce, poised to advance 3 percent this week.
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