Gold Heads for Sixth Quarterly Gain on Investor Demand

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"The sixth quarterly increase would mark gold's longest rally since 1979."

Gold rose, heading for the sixth straight quarterly gain, on investor demand for an alternative to the dollar and other currencies.

The greenback slipped as much as 0.7% against a basket of major currencies as U.S. companies eliminated more jobs than forecast in March. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials climbed for the third straight day. The sixth quarterly increase would mark gold's longest rally since 1979. The metal priced in euros rose to a record this month.

"The dollar is pretty weak," said Dan Faretta, a senior market strategist at LaSalle Futures Group in Chicago. "We're looking for a rebound in the economy, but the jobs numbers aren't getting any better. We're going to see the dollar pull back and continue to fall. It's going to be bullish for gold and commodities across the board."

Gold futures for June delivery rose $10.70, or 1%, to $1,116.40 an ounce at 11:02 a.m. on the Comex in New York.

Before today, the metal climbed 0.9 % in the first quarter, poised for the smallest gain since mid-2009.

Gold has rallied as central banks and governments maintained low borrowing cost and spent trillions of dollars to stimulate economies. The benchmark U.S. interest rate has been zero to 0.25% since December 2008.

Gold imports by India, the world's biggest consumer, jumped by more than five times this month on demand by jewelers for wedding-season sales, according to the Bombay Bullion Association. The season runs from late March to early May and from November to December.

ETF Demand

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust have increased 2.1% this month.

For the fifth straight quarter, silver, platinum and palladium headed for gain. Before today, silver rose 2.9% since Dec. 31, platinum was up 11% and palladium jumped 15%.

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