S&P 500 extends record as gold, silver climb on Yellen remarks

Asian Stocks

More than three stocks advanced for every one that declined in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index as information technology and telecommunications companies led all 10 industry groups higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index added at least 0.6%.

The yen touched 100.15 per dollar, its weakest level in two months, as Finance Minister Taro Aso said it’s important the nation has intervention as a policy option. Japan’s economy grew at an annualized 1.9% pace in the third quarter, versus 3.8% in the preceding three months, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo today.

Euro Economy

The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index was little changed as the euro weakened versus its American counterpart for the first time in four days. The euro-area economy grew 0.1% last quarter versus 0.3% in the second quarter, data today showed. German gross domestic product increased 0.3%, down from 0.7% in the second quarter, and France’s shrank 0.1%.

Italian 10-year bonds rose for a second day, with yields falling six basis points to 4.06%.

International Business Machines Corp. and Eni SpA, the biggest Italian oil company, are selling notes in Europe after bond risk in the region fell. Eni is marketing eight-year bonds in euros and is adding to its 3.75% September 2025 issue, while IBM plans to sell seven-year securities in pounds. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps on 125 investment-grade companies fell 1.6 basis points to 83 basis points.

Gold and silver gained on demand for a store of value as investors speculated continued quantitative easing from the Fed will boost inflation. Gold futures for December delivery increased 1.4% to settle at $1,286.30 an ounce, halting a five-day slump. Gold for immediate delivery extended gains late yesterday after Yellen’s testimony was released. Spot gold was up 0.2% after surging 1.1% yesterday. December silver added 1.4% to $20.722 an ounce, also snapping a five-day loss.

Bullion tumbled 23% in 2013 as signs of economic recovery spurred speculation that the Fed will start to cut its monthly bond buying, strengthening the dollar. Global gold demand fell 21% in the third quarter as investors continued to dump holdings of the metal through exchange-traded funds and central banks slowed purchases, the World Gold Council said.

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