U.S. gold futures rose toward $950 an ounce Wednesday on the back of an oil rally and weaker dollar, even as an industry report showed that gold jewelry demand fell hard amid a global recession.
* December gold GCZ9 settled up $5.60 at $944.80 an ounce on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
* Ranging from $933.30 to $946.80.
* A sharp oil rally increased bullion's appeal as an inflation hedge. Crude futures rose more than $3 to over $72 per barrel after U.S. data showed a steep weekly inventory draw.
* Dollar weakness and stock rally likewise boosted gold, which is more of an economic play now and should rebound on any positive economic indicators - Zachary Oxman, managing director at TrendMax Futures.
* Gold futures accelerated gains on buy-stops as December contract rose above Tuesday's session high around $942 an ounce - traders.
* With gold prices trading near the lower end of July's trading range, the metal could rally on better risk appetite and bargain-hunting - Tom Pawlicki, precious metals and energy analyst at MF Global.
* Dollar turned lower against the euro, extending support to gold as a hedge against a falling U.S. currency.
* The inverse relationship between gold and the dollar has been reasserting itself. Earlier this year, the traditional link broke down because both assets benefited from a flight to safety amid economic fears - analysts.
* World gold demand fell 9 percent in the second quarter to 719.5 tonnes as rising prices and the impact of the global recession curbed jewelry consumption - World Gold Council.
* U.S. gold demand in the second quarter, however, rose 10 percent year-over-year as investment demand nearly doubled and offset weaker jewelry buying. Gold jewelry typically represents more than half of the annual gold demand.
* COMEX estimated midday gold volume at 76,272 lots.
* Spot gold XAU= at $943.50 an ounce at 1:55 p.m. EDT (1755 GMT), against $937.30 in late Tuesday dealings in New York.
* London afternoon gold fix XAUFIX= at $943 an ounce.
* September silver SIU9 finished down 8.5 cents at $13.875 an ounce as doubts about a nascent economic recovery hurt the volatile metal, which has the characteristics of both precious and industrial metals.
* Ranging from $13.495 to $14.150 an ounce.
* COMEX estimated midday silver volume at 49,296 lots.
* Spot silver XAG= at $13.86 an ounce, versus $13.96 an ounce in Tuesday's late business.
* London silver fixed XAGFIX= at $13.585 an ounce.
* October platinum PLV9 ended up $9.30 at $1,241.40 an ounce on bargain hunting after sharp decline earlier this week.
* Spot platinum XPT= at $1,237.50 an ounce against $1,228.
* September palladium PAU9 closed down 55 cents at $271.80 an ounce, following weakness of base metals.
* Spot palladium XPD= at $269.50 an ounce, against its previous finish of $271.