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Bloomberg Round-up April 13, 2007Views: 699
Apr 13, 2007 10:09 amBloomberg Round-up April 13, 2007#

Sanjay Rao
Gold gained in London as the dollar slumped to the lowest versus the euro in two years, prompting some investors to buy the metal as an alternative investment.

The dollar declined on speculation government data today will show a widening U.S. trade deficit. The deficit grew to $60 billion in February from $59.1 billion the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Gold and the dollar often trade in opposite directions. Last year, bullion climbed 23 percent while the U.S. currency slid 11 percent.

``Gold will have a pop higher today,'' James Moore, a precious-metals analyst with TheBullionDesk.com, said in an interview. ``The U.S. trade deficit has been a substantial figure for quite some time now, and it keeps on getting larger,'' pushing the dollar lower and gold higher, he said.

Gold for immediate delivery in London rose as much as $2, or 0.3 percent, to $678.10 an ounce and traded at $677.60 at 9:22 a.m. local time. The metal is up 0.4 percent this week, its sixth consecutive weekly gain. Silver for immediate delivery fell 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $13.88 an ounce.

The Commerce Department releases the trade deficit report at 8:30 a.m. local time in Washington.

Gold also gained as oil prices climbed, boosting demand for the metal as a hedge against inflation, Moore said. Gold surged to a 26- year high of $730.40 in May as energy prices traded at a record.

Oil rose a fourth day in New York on expectations U.S. gasoline consumption will spur demand for crude. Oil for May delivery rose 59 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $64.44 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

``The underlying factors are bullish, oil prices are up and we have had a weaker U.S. dollar,'' Darren Heathcote, head of trading at Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd., said by phone from Sydney. ``There is an element of physical buying on the dips which is underpinning the market.''

Gold may rise to as high as $695 an ounce next week, Moore forecast. ``I am bullish, the dollar and oil are all favorable factors for gold while physical demand from India is also increasing in the run-up to the monsoon and wedding season in May.''

Palladium was unchanged at $370.50 an ounce, while platinum gained $4.50, or 0.4 percent, to $1,266.50 an ounce.

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