PRECIOUS-Gold gains as inflation woes persist, palladium extends rally

* All precious metals near two-month highs

* Supply concerns likely driving autocatalysts' rally- Commerzbank

* U.S. weekly jobless claims rose to 286,000

* FOMC scheduled to meet on Jan. 25-26 (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)

By Kavya Guduru

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Gold and silver touched fresh two-month highs on Thursday lifted by worries surrounding inflation and Russia-Ukraine tensions, while autocatalysts platinum and palladium extended the previous session's rally.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,845.58 per ounce by 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), its highest since Nov. 22. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,845.20.

Silver rose 1.6% to $24.51.

The primary factor driving gold is inflation, which is boosting the metal's appeal as a hedge against rising prices, said Daniel Pavilonis, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures

"The market looks like it wants to continue to move higher, and it's just this self fulfilling loop with more and more data coming out and showing that inflation is not transitory."

Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to 286,000 last week.

Reflecting investor sentiment, holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, jumped to the highest level since mid-December.

Growing geopolitical instability, notably Russia-Ukraine tensions, is also supporting gold, said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades.

Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops on its borders with Ukraine, and Western states fear Moscow is planning a new assault on a country it invaded in 2014.

Platinum rose 2.8% to $1,050.91 and palladium gained 2.4% to $2,049.19 per ounce, both having hit their highest in about two months. Palladium rallied over 7% on Wednesday, while platinum jumped 5%.

The rally could have been related to supply concerns due to the Russia-Ukraine tensions, Commerzbank said in a note.

Potential Western sanctions on Russia, one of the biggest producers of palladium and an export ban on the metal, which is vital for the automotive industry, could lead to a severely under-supplied market, Commerzbank said. (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

Copyright © Reuters 2008. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Search News

Filter Results

Publication Date

News, commentary and research reports are from third-party sources unaffiliated with Fidelity. Fidelity does not endorse or adopt their content. Fidelity makes no guarantees that information supplied is accurate, complete, or timely, and does not provide any warranties regarding results obtained from their use.