Gold Breaks $1,400 on Payroll Data


"U.S. hiring trailed economists' forecasts, boosting demand for a protection of wealth."

Gold climbed above $1,400 an ounce in New York as the dollar weakened after U.S. hiring trailed economists' forecasts, boosting demand for a protection of wealth. Silver futures advanced to a 30-year high.

U.S. employers added less than one-third as many jobs in November as economists had forecast and the jobless rate rose to 9.8%, the highest level since April, Labor Department figures showed.

"Ongoing economic uncertainty and the possibility of more quantitative easing needed to counter high unemployment and stagnation in an economic recovery," said Bayram Dincer, an analyst at LGT Capital Management in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland.

Gold futures for February delivery added as much as $20.60, or 1.5%, to $1,409.90 an ounce and traded at $1,407.10 at 11:51 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices are up 3.1% this week. The metal for immediate delivery in London was 1.5% higher at $1,405.97.

Payrolls increased by 39,000 positions last month after a revised 172,000 increase the prior month, the Labor Department said. The U.S. unemployment rate has held at 9.5% or higher since July 2009. It reached 10.1% in October 2009, the highest since June 1983.

Gold also gained this week on concern about Europe's debt crisis and on speculation China, the world's second-biggest bullion buyer after India, will consume more of the metal.

China's gold imports jumped almost fivefold in this year's first 10 months from 2009's total as concern about rising inflation increased bullion's appeal, the Shanghai Gold Exchange said yesterday. China should consider adding to its gold reserve to pave the way for internationalization of the yuan, according to a commentary central-bank adviser Xia Bin wrote in the China Business News today.

"In the mid- and longer-term, of course, I think China is the biggest bullish factor for gold prices," said Yuichi Ikemizu, head of commodity trading at Standard Bank Plc in Tokyo.

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