Gold and silver futures jumped to five-week highs as stalling U.S. retail sales revived speculation that a sputtering economy will spur the Federal Reserve to delay raising interest rates.
Gold futures for June delivery rose 2.2 percent to settle at $1,218.20 an ounce at 2:02 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,218.50, the highest for a most-active contract since April 6. The dollar dropped to a 15-week low against a basket of 10 currencies.
The metal climbed this week as rising energy costs stoked inflation concerns. Crude-oil futures in New York have jumped 44 percent from a six-year low in March. Gold has traditionally been used as a hedge against accelerating consumer prices.