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NEW YORK: Gold jumped on the last trading day of 2012 to finish up 6 percent on the year on news of a possible US fiscal deal, which lifted a market that had rallied earlier in the year on low interest rates, eurozone worries and central bank demand for bullion.
Other precious metals finished strongly, with palladium up nearly 10 percent on the year, silver up 9 percent and platinum up 8 percent. It was the 12th straight year of gains for gold, making it one of the longest bull runs ever in a commodity.
Analysts expect bullion—which started 2012 at below $1,580 and scaled nearly $1,800 by October after the US Federal Reserve rolled out a fresh economic stimulus — to chart newer peaks in 2013. The market’s all-time high above $1,930 was set in September 2011.
Gold futures’ most-active contract settled at $1,675.80 an ounce, up 1.2 percent for the session and 6.1 percent on the year. Until news of the fiscal deal emerged, the market had barely gained half a percent. The spot price of bullion hovered above $1,670 an ounce, up 1 percent on the day and up nearly 7 percent for 2012.
The spot price of palladium hovered near $700 an ounce, up more than 7 percent for the year. Silver was up 1 percent on the day and 9 percent on the year, hovering at just above $30 an ounce.