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Gold leaps on the back of weaker dollar, Asian stock rally   2008-12-17 - TN, Agencies

Gold held on to most of its early gains Monday, rising around 1 percent on the back of buoyant Asian stocks and a weaker US dollar versus the euro.

Meanwhile, platinum climbed as investors turned buyers in the belief concerns over waning demand were overdone.

Asian stocks jumped 4 percent on renewed hopes of a bailout of the US automaker industry.

But the White House said Sunday it did not expect any announcement on the rescue plan before President George W. Bush returned to the US from Iraq.

Spot gold was at US$827.85 per ounce at 0748 GMT after climbing as high as $832.55, against New York’s notional close of $819.90 Friday.

In Vietnam, the precious metal traded at VND17.11 million a tael, or $849 per ounce, at the Saigon Jewelry Joint Stock Co., the country’s biggest gold trader, showing a VND140,000 increase from Friday. A tael equals 1.2 ounces.

Gold price at the gold exchange of Sacombank Jewelry Co., an arm of Sacombank, also jumped VND195,000 to close at VND17,095 million per tael, or $848 an ounce. Trading on the exchange was active, with trading volume rising 25 percent to 15,020 taels.

“Gold looks set to rise further over current positive signs,” Sacombank Jewelry Precious Metal & Gemstone Trading Dept. said in a report yesterday. 

Arbitrage buyers were also active in gold as worsening US economic data, a rapidly growing fiscal deficit and the likelihood the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again this week all combined to push the dollar to a two-month low against the euro at one point.

"The tide seems to have turned around in recent sessions, with bad US economic news now rightfully hurting the US dollar rather than helping it become stronger," said Nizam Idris, currency strategist with UBS in Singapore.

Gold was also supported after oil rose to $47 a barrel yesterday on signs that OPEC members are set to make another deep cut in supply when they meet tomorrow.

The benchmark October gold contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange rose 57 yen per gram to 2,418 yen.

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