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Gold Heads for Best Run Since April

Gold climbed for a fourth day to the highest level in more than two weeks after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke backed sustained stimulus for the foreseeable future. Platinum touched a three-week high as silver and palladium advanced.

Spot gold rose as much as 2.4 percent to $1,289.80 an ounce, the highest level since June 25, and traded at $1,284.02 by 11:27 a.m. in Singapore. A fourth day of gains would be the longest winning streak since the five days to April 22. Silver climbed as much as 3.1 percent to $19.9925 an ounce, the highest since July 1.

Bullion slumped a record 23 percent last quarter as Bernanke said after the Fed’s June 18-19 meeting that the central bank may reduce its $85 billion of monthly asset purchases this year. Minutes of that meeting released yesterday showed many officials wanted to see more signs that employment is improving before backing a trim to bond buying.

“One of their mandates is to get unemployment down, but it’s not moving,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney. “The market’s realized that while unemployment’s stuck, they’ve got to keep stimulating.”

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.6 percent last month even as the economy added 195,000 jobs, government data show. The Federal Open Market Committee met before the data was released on July 5. Fed policy makers next meet July 30-31.

After the release of the minutes yesterday, Bernanke said the U.S. will need highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future, sending the U.S. Dollar Index down 1.5 percent today. Gold has fallen 23 percent this year as the dollar strengthened 3.7 percent against the six-currency basket.

Silver for immediate delivery gained 2.7 percent to $19.9107 an ounce, gaining for a fourth day. Spot platinum rose as much as 2.6 percent to $1,405.20 an ounce, the highest level since June 20. Palladium added as much as 1.9 percent to $728.60 an ounce, the highest level since June 17.