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Gold Advances From 10-Week Low as Ukraine Tension Spurs Demand

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Gold rose from a 10-week low in New York, climbing for the first time in four sessions, as the crisis in Ukraine spurred demand for a haven.

Bullion futures reached $1,275.80 an ounce yesterday, the lowest since Feb. 11, as a report showed manufacturing in the region covered by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in Virginia expanded in April. Data due today may show U.S. new home sales increased. Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said this week the central bank will probably continue paring its asset purchases and end them late this year.

While gold’s 12-year bull run ended in 2013 on expectations for less U.S. stimulus, prices have risen 7.1 percent this year, reaching a six-month high in March in part as unrest in Ukraine spurred haven demand. Ukraine resumed operations to oust militants from eastern cities as the U.S. said 600 troops will be sent for exercises in four countries bordering Russia amid signs an accord to reduce tensions in the region was unraveling.

“Most of the factors in the gold complex are arrayed on the bearish side, except for the Ukrainian situation, which we believe remains singularly capable of turning things around if another major headline catches the shorts off guard,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc. in New York, said in a report written late yesterday. Data “provided further evidence that the U.S. economy was emerging from its winter slump.”

Gold for June delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,287.10 by 7:35 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Futures volume was 22 percent below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Bullion for immediate delivery gained 0.3 percent to $1,287.13 in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

Ukraine Crisis

With an accord faltering after it was negotiated last week, Ukraine is renewing its push to dislodge militants in defiance of Russia’s warnings that such a move risks sparking civil war. The “active phase” of the military operation was suspended five days ago as Ukraine’s government pledged to abide by the deal negotiated in Geneva by Ukraine, the European Union, the U.S. and Russia.

“Prices are finding some haven support as investors keep a close watch on the Ukraine-Russia conflict,” said Mark To, head of research at Wing Fung Financial Group, a Hong Kong-based trader and refiner. “Physical interest is also picking up as prices fall.”

Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products rose 1.8 metric tons yesterday, climbing from the lowest level since October 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In China, the biggest consumer, volumes for the benchmark spot bullion contract on the Shanghai Gold Exchange climbed to an almost five-week high yesterday.

Silver Price

Silver for July delivery rose 0.6 percent to $19.51 an ounce in New York. Palladium for June delivery added 0.3 percent to $785.90 an ounce. It advanced to $817 on April 14, the highest since August 2011. Platinum for July delivery gained 0.4 percent to $1,405.70 an ounce, after falling to $1,392.80 yesterday, the lowest since Feb. 12.

Talks between the three largest platinum producers and the South African union leading a three-month strike will continue today after the companies increased their pay offer April 17. The revised offer fails to meet union demands, suggesting a resolution may be weeks away, according to SBG Securities Ltd. and Investec Asset Management.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net; Glenys Sim in Singapore at gsim4@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net John Deane, Nicholas Larkin

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