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Gold prices try to extend climb to 2-week peak, head for 3rd straight gain

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Gold futures on Thursday were moving slightly higher for a third straight day in choppy trade as the precious metal extended its climb above a roughly two-week peak, a day after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. president.

A weakening U.S. dollar and expectations that the Biden administration will support government spending to help boost the virus-hobbled economy is also helping to give gold support, after the precious metal had been teetering near a level near $1,800.

“Gold is steady to higher after yesterdays strong gains and is now nearing a technical breakout that will possibly take it closer to the $2000 level after completing a consolidation phase near the low $1800 range,” wrote Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, in a daily note.

February gold
GC00,
+0.09%
GCH21,
+0.05%
 climbed $2.50, or 0.1%, to reach $1,869 an ounce, after rising 1.4% on Wednesday to the highest finish for a most-active contract since Jan. 7, FactSet data show.

“The presidency of Joe Biden started with expectations for a new stimulus and with a new rally for the bullion price,” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades.

Meanwhile, silver for March delivery 
SI00,
+0.62%
SIH21,
+0.62%
added 16 cents, or 0.6%, to reach $25.93 an ounce, following a rise of 1.8% advance in the prior session.

Commodity dealers also were watching central bank moves as the European Central Bank, as expected, made no changes to interest rates or its asset-buying program on Thursday after moving last month to bolster its efforts to support the eurozone economy. 

The ECB also will continue its asset purchase program at a pace of 20 billion euros a month. ECB President Christine Lagarde was set to hold a news conference at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

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