Gold firms as economic outlook dims

08:40, August 17, 2010      

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Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange posted strong gains on Monday, as the weak economic data of Japan worsened investors' concerns about the pace of global economic recovery, and sparked some safe- haven demand of the precious metal. Silver and platinum both advanced.

The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 9.6 dollars, or 0.8 percent, to finish at 1,226.2 dollars per ounce.

Japan said early Monday that its GDP in the second quarter grew at an annualized rate of just 0.4 percent, well below the annualized 4.4-percent expansion in the first quarter and short of economists' expectations of a 2.3-percent increase, adding to evidence that the global recovery is losing its steam.

The downbeat economic data from Japan, compounded with a series of disappointing U.S. economic data released last week, fueled investors' fears over the global economy, and pushed them to purchase bullion and other precious metals like silver and platinum as safe-haven.

Gold opened higher and surged to its intraday high early in the morning on refuge buying as well as the softening dollar, which snapped a five-day gain and slipped 0.7 percent on Monday. Meanwhile, the strong demand for physical gold from Asian buyers also provided support to gold price, as the festival season approaches quickly.

September silver surged 31.8 cents, or 1.8 percent, to settle at 18.427 dollars per ounce. October platinum rose 11.1 dollars, or 0.7 percent, to 1,537.3 dollars per ounce.



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