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Comex Gold Futures Bounce On
Bargain Hunting

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Gold futures sustained their slight bounce
Friday even though the dollar remained higher, as participants were
viewing the metal as a bargain after recent declines.

The benchmark February gold contract rose $4.10 to settle at $1,111.50 an
ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bargain hunters began buying up the metal it dipped just below the $1,100
mark, said Frank Lesh, broker and futures analyst with FuturePath
Trading. "If you wanted some, you came in and bought some, despite the
dollar," he said.

Trend line support for gold was just below $1,100 an ounce, said Michael
Gross, broker and futures analyst with OptionSellers.com.

"We've been selling gold pretty heavily here over the past several
sessions," Gross said. But "the dollar kept gains in check," he said.

The dollar jumped after traders succeeded in pushing it through some key
levels against the euro and the yen. The greenback has been soaring on
evidence that real signs of a recovering U.S. economy are now working in
its favor.

Daniel Pavilonis, senior market strategist with Lind-Waldock, said gold
continues trading as a risk asset. He noted that while the dollar was still
higher, it had pared its gains.

Shortly after gold closed, the ICE Futures U.S. dollar index was up 0.213
point at 77.907 but down from its intraday peak of 78.141.

Gold prices have had a close inverse correlation to the buck for the most
part since early November as investors have treated the metal as a risk
play. While traditionally, gold has been viewed as a safe haven asset, it's
recently been bought when risk tolerance is high and sold in favor of the
perceived safety of the dollar when the desire for risk ebbs.

Also, dollar-denominated assets like gold often trade inversely to the
greenback because dollar movements make them more or less expensive
for those using other currencies.

Other precious metals -- silver and platinum -- also benefited from higher
gold prices. Comex March silver gained 12.5 cents to settle at $17.320 an
ounce. Nymex January platinum gained $3.40 to settle at $1,429.30 an
ounce.

Meanwhile, Nymex March palladium on the exchange lost $2.10 to settle at
$367.90 an ounce. A trader noted its moves come in thinned year-end
trading.