Gold poised for second weekly gain since January

by on March 15, 2013 7:46 am BST

Gold was set for the first back-to- back weekly advance since January as investors weighed prospects for more stimulus against improving U.S. economic data. Silver, platinum and palladium headed for weekly losses.

Spot gold traded at $1,592.23 an ounce at 2:22 p.m. in Singapore from $1,590.20 yesterday. The metal climbed to a two- week high of $1,599.85 an ounce on March 13 and is 0.9 percent higher this week. Assets in gold-backed exchange-traded products rose for the first time in five weeks, climbing from the lowest level since September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Haruhiko Kuroda was confirmed as Bank of Japan governor today and may push for more stimulus within weeks. The European Central Bank will maintain its accommodative stance “as long as necessary,” Jens Weidmann, head of Germany’s Bundesbank, said March 12, before the region’s leaders conclude a summit today. U.S. data this week showed retail sales jumped and jobless claims unexpectedly dropped. Gold is still down 5 percent this year on concern the Federal Reserve may rein in stimulus.

“Bullion prices have been sensitive to the recent string of positive U.S. economic data, often falling when data show an upside surprise,” James Steel, an analyst at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., wrote in a note. “However, the lack of conviction or follow-through selling in the market leads us to believe that the path of least resistance for prices is higher.”

Gold for April delivery was little changed at $1,590.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York after adding 0.1 percent yesterday as the dollar declined. The greenback held losses against a six-currency basket today. Gold-backed ETPs rose to 2,471.073 metric tons yesterday for the first gain since Feb. 7.

Cash silver gained 0.4 percent to $28.9425 an ounce, trimming this week’s losses to 0.2 percent, as silver ETP holdings jumped to a record on March 13, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Spot platinum rose 0.2 percent to $1,593.70 an ounce, snapping three days of losses and paring this week’s decline to 0.6 percent. Palladium was little changed at $772 an ounce, falling 1.4 percent this week.