(Bloomberg News) Gold climbed to the highest level in almost 11 months on speculation that central-bank stimulus from the U.S. to Europe and Japan will boost demand for the metal as a store of value. Platinum rose to the costliest since February.
Spot gold increased as much as 0.3 percent to $1,796.10 an ounce, the highest intraday level since Nov. 14, and traded at $1,794.25 as of 12:58 p.m. Singapore time. Platinum gained as much as 0.7 percent to $1,730.50 an ounce, a level last seen on Feb. 29, before trading at $1,726.
The European Central Bank is ready to start buying government bonds "once all the prerequisites are in place," President Mario Draghi said yesterday after policy makers left the benchmark interest rate at a historic low of 0.75 percent. In the third quarter, gold gained 11 percent, the most since June 2010, as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a third round of monetary stimulus.
"The ECB comment is definitely helping gold and the market is also counting on the U.S. stimulus," said Lynette Tan, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte. in Singapore. "I'm very positive prices will reach $1,850 by the end of the year."
Gold for December delivery was little changed at $1,796.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Bullion traders are the most bullish in three weeks as investors' holdings of the metal expanded to an all-time high. Twenty of 32 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to gain next week, while nine were bearish and three were neutral.
Holdings in exchange-traded products expanded 11.14 metric tons, or 0.4 percent, to a record 2,565.472 tons as of yesterday, according to data tracked by Bloomberg.
A U.S. Labor Department report today may show the world's biggest economy created 115,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, according to economists' estimates. The Fed in September pledged to buy mortgage-backed securities until the labor market recovers.
Spot platinum is heading for a 3.9 percent gain this week, the most since the five-day period ended Sept. 14. Strikes at mines in South Africa, which supplies three quarters of global output, have helped boost prices since they started in August. The metal climbed 7.9 percent last month.
Cash silver was little changed at $35.05 an ounce, poised for a 1.5 percent rise this week. Palladium dropped 0.3 percent to $671.50 an ounce, trimming this week's gain to 5.1 percent.