Gold held near the highest in almost two weeks as speculation some investors are cutting bets on lower prices was weighed against signs of an improving U.S. economy. Palladium traded near a more than three-year high. Bullion rose as much as 1.5 percent since the week ended June 3, halting declines last week at about $1,240 an ounce, partly as the European Central Bank became the first major central bank to take one of its main rates negative. Gold fell to a four-month low on June 3.
U.S. data due tomorrow may show retail sales rose in May, after a report last week showed employment exceeded its pre-recession peak, sending U.S. equities to a record. Palladium, used in pollution control devices in cars, climbed 19 percent this year as mineworkers went on strike since January in South Africa, the second-largest producer. Talks ended without a resolution two days ago. Bullion for immediate delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,261.07 per ounce. It reached $1,263.66 yesterday, the highest since May 28. Gold for August delivery rose 0.1% to $1,261.20 per ounce. Futures trading volume was 50% below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day.
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