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Gold Rises in New York, London as Weaker Dollar Boosts Demand

By Nicholas Larkin

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Gold rose in New York and London as a decline by the dollar increased the metal’s appeal as an alternative investment. Silver also advanced.

The U.S. Dollar Index, a gauge of the currency’s value versus six counterparts, fell as much as 0.8 percent to the lowest since Dec. 18. Gold, which typically gains when the dollar weakens, touched a 14-week peak before closing yesterday and silver reached its highest in almost 10 months.

Investors continue “to track moves in the dollar, the key factor driving gold,” Pradeep Unni, an analyst at Richcomm Global Services in Dubai, said in a note. “As optimism grows that the worst of the economic downturn is over,” the correlation between gold and the dollar has returned, he said.

Gold futures for August delivery rose $1.90, or 0.2 percent, to $981.90 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division at 8:43 a.m. local time. The contract earlier fell as much as 1 percent. Bullion for immediate delivery in London gained $5.16, or 0.5 percent, to $980.43.

The metal slipped to $973.50 an ounce in the morning “fixing” in London, used by some mining companies to sell production, from $981.75 at yesterday’s afternoon fixing. Gold briefly traded above $1,000 in the U.K. capital on Feb. 20, the first time the metal had breached that price since March 2008, when it climbed to a record $1,032.70.

“The week is likely to be dominated by further developments on the currency market, with the rally possibly slowing down if the dollar holds above 79-78.5” as tracked by the index, Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in a note. The index fell as low as 78.524 today.

Gold Trust

Investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange- traded fund backed by bullion, rose to a record 1,134.03 metric tons yesterday, the company’s Web site showed. That’s the first gain since May 22.

“One day of decent flows is not enough to change our minds on the near-term outlook for gold,” John Reade, UBS AG’s head metals strategist in London, said in a report. “We are seeing no strong physical gold investment, and we hold our one-month forecast for gold at $950 an ounce.”

An ounce of gold now buys about 62.25 ounces of silver in London, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The ratio fell to 62.20 on May 29, the lowest since September, and compares with 84 in October, the highest level since March 1995. Spot gold has climbed 11 percent this year and silver 38 percent.

Silver futures for July delivery added 0.3 percent to $15.775 an ounce in New York. Platinum futures for July rose 0.2 percent to $1,223.30 an ounce, and palladium for September delivery was 1.1 percent higher at $246.45 an ounce.

Palladium for immediate delivery rose 1.9 percent to $245.57 an ounce in London, the highest compared with intraday prices since September