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Gold Trades Near One-Month High as Markets Advance on China Data

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Gold, little changed in New York, traded near a one-month high as stocks and some commodities gained after economic growth in China accelerated for the first time in two years.

China’s gross domestic product rose 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said, topping the 7.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Stocks around the world rose and industrial metals paced gains in commodities.

“The move overnight is more an overall slight improvement in investor sentiment after Chinese data and gold is reacting as a risky asset,” said Georgette Boele, a commodities strategist at ABN Amro Group NV.

Bullion for February delivery was little changed at $1,690.90 an ounce by 7:20 a.m. on the Comex in New York after climbing to $1,697.80 yesterday, the highest since Dec. 18. Prices are poised to gain 1.8 percent this week. Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,691.23 an ounce in London.

The physical gold market is “off to a good start” this year, with demand in India and China, the top two buyers, “consistently strong” since mid-December, UBS AG said in a report today.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said yesterday he expects the central bank to continue buying bonds beyond mid-year to improve the labor market. Manufacturing in the Philadelphia area unexpectedly contracted in January, a report showed yesterday, increasing pressure on the Federal Reserve to continue stimulus.

American Eagles

Silver for March delivery was little changed at $31.82 an ounce after climbing to $31.945 an ounce, the highest level since Dec. 18. The metal is set to climb 4.6 percent this week for the biggest weekly gain since Nov. 23. Sales of 2013 American Eagle silver coins are suspended after temporarily selling out, the U.S. Mint said yesterday.

Platinum for April delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $1,689.70 an ounce, up 3.6 percent this week. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by platinum climbed to a record 52.9816 metric tons yesterday, data tracked by Bloomberg showed.

Platinum futures volume was 20 percent above the average for the past 100 days, while gold, palladium and silver futures volumes were lower, according to data on Bloomberg.

Palladium for March delivery fell 0.4 percent to $723.05 an ounce.

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