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Silver Futures Climb, Gold May Advance on Europe Debt, Inflation Concerns

BLOOMBERG - Silver futures gained and gold may extend its two-week rally as Europe’s debt crisis and accelerating inflation draw investors seeking to protect their wealth. Gold priced in yuan rose to a record.

Silver for July delivery jumped as much as 1.4 percent to $38.395 an ounce, extending last week’s 7.9 percent gain, in electronic trading on the Comex in New York, and reached $38.09, a 0.6 percent gain, by 1:15 p.m. Immediate-delivery gold was little changed at $1,538.45 an ounce, while bullion for August delivery was 0.2 percent higher at $1,539.80 an ounce on the Comex. Gold in Shanghai rose to an all-time high of 319.92 yuan ($49.34) a gram today. U.K. and U.S. exchanges were closed for holidays, and today’s trades will be counted in tomorrow’s pricing.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said he’ll press ahead with new austerity measures even as he failed to win backing from opposition parties. Commodities, measured by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 futures, rallied for a third week last week after the Group of Eight leaders said the global economy is strengthening.

“Gold’s uptrend remains in place, with people being fidgety about Europe’s debt crisis,” said Chae Un Soo, Seoul- based trader with KEB Futures Co. “The metal is going to approach a record this week where it also could face heavy sell- offs to moderate rapid gains in prices.”

Bullion is extending a 10-year winning streak, touching a record $1,577.57 an ounce in London on May 2, as European policy makers seek ways to restore investor confidence amid increasing concern that Greece won’t be able to repay its debts after last year’s 110 billion euro ($157 billion) bailout.

‘Bull Market’

Seventeen of 19 traders, investors and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said bullion will rise this week, while one saw a decline and one was neutral. Assets held in exchange-traded products, or ETPs, stood at 2,057.679 metric tons as of May 27, compared with a record holdings 2,114.6011 tons in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

There is “a bull market that has years to go and would ultimately carry gold and silver prices to multiples of their recent highs,” Jeffrey Nichols, managing director at AmericanPrecious Metals Advisors, wrote in a note.

China National Gold Group Corp., the state-owned company that controls the nation’s largest gold deposits, wants to invest in projects in Africa as it expects bullion to trade near record levels for the next three years.

“We aim at large-scale mines with good potential in countries that have close ties with China and domestic stability,” President Sun Zhaoxue, 48, said in an interview in Shanghai. “Gold prices will foreseeably fluctuate at historically high levels for another three years.”

Silver for immediate-delivery rose 0.4 percent to $38.155 an ounce. Spot palladium was little changed at $760.75 an ounce, as was platinum for immediate delivery, at $1,800.50 an ounce.