Gold Gains on Inflation-Hedge Demand, Higher Oil; Silver Climbs

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"Gold 'will continue to look to both the dollar and broader market movement for direction.'"

Gold advanced on rising demand for the precious metal as a hedge against inflation after U.S. housing starts increased in June, adding to signs the world's biggest economy is stabilizing. Silver also gained.

Home-building starts rose 3.6% to an annual rate of 582,000, the highest since November, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Building permits, a sign of future construction, jumped the most in a year. Crude-oil futures, used by some investors as an inflation indicator, advanced. Some investors use gold as a store of value.

"Fresh buying will be supported by a weakening dollar and a build in inflation expectations," Suki Cooper, a Barclays Capital analyst in London, said today in a report.

Gold futures for August delivery gained $1.90, or 0.2%, to $937.30 an ounce at 11:27 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex division.

Bullion for immediate delivery in London advanced 57 cents to $937.91 an ounce.

Silver futures for September delivery increased 16.5 cents, or 1.2% to $13.40 an ounce in New York.

Gold "will continue to look to both the dollar and broader market movement for direction," James Moore, an analyst at TheBullionDesk.com in London, said today in a note.

The metal rose to $937.50 in the London afternoon "fixing," the price used by some mining companies to sell their output, from $934.50 in the morning fixing.

Investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, rose 0.3 metric ton to 1,094.85 tons as of yesterday, the company's website showed. That's the first increase since the fund reached a record 1,134.03 tons almost seven weeks ago.

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