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Gold, Poised for a Quarterly Advance, Climbs on Weaker Dollar

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Gold, poised for a quarterly advance, rose in New York on a weaker dollar and speculation that a strike by jewelers in India may end. Silver headed for the first three-month gain in a year.

The U.S. Dollar Index, a six-currency gauge of the greenback’s strength, reached a four-week low. Bullion and the dollar tend to move inversely. Jewelers in India, the world’s biggest gold importer, may end a nationwide shutdown if the government delays an excise duty, according to the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.

“Gold has traded positively on the back of USD weakness overnight,” said Saeed Amen, an analyst at Nomura International Plc in London, referring to the dollar. “Going into month end, there’s been some dollar selling.”

Bullion for June delivery gained 0.9 percent to $1,669.20 an ounce by 7:51 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices are up 6.5 percent for the quarter. Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1,667.82 an ounce in London.

Prices are increasing for a 12th year as the euro-region sovereign-debt crisis and concerns that global economic growth may slow spur demand for a protection of wealth. Still, UBS AG this week cut its full-year gold forecast by 18 percent to $1,680 an ounce, citing reduced expectations that the Federal Reserve will take more steps to stimulate the U.S. economy.

Indian Stores

The Indian strike entered a 14th day today. About 85 percent to 90 percent of stores remained closed, Bachhraj Bamalwa, the federation’s chairman, said yesterday. India’s gold imports may fall as much as 59 percent this quarter because of the duty, the Bombay Bullion Association has said.

Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by bullion came to 2,397.6 metric tons yesterday, according to data tracked by Bloomberg, 0.5 percent below an all-time high reached March 13.

Gold gained to $1,660.75 an ounce at the morning “fixing” in London, used by some mining companies to sell output, from $1,657.50 at the afternoon fixing yesterday.

Silver for May delivery rose 1.6 percent to $32.515 an ounce. Prices are up 16 percent this quarter.

Platinum for July delivery gained 1.4 percent to $1,651.50 an ounce. The metal is up 18 percent in the quarter, poised for the best performance in three years, on supply disruptions in South Africa and prospects for increased demand. Palladium for June delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $652.80 an ounce, narrowing the quarterly drop to 0.5 percent.

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