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Gold ends at 2-month high on dollar fall, short-covering

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Gold settled at a two month high on Thursday as a drop in the dollar and a lack of commitment by the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sent metal investors rushing to buy back their bearish bets.

The rally in bullion marked its biggest one-day gain in eight months. Silver jumped as much as 5 percent, while platinum and palladium also climbed as new hurdles emerged to settling South Africa's mining strike.

Gold was boosted by the U.S. dollar index's tumble a day after the Fed signaled it will stick with a near-zero interest rate policy to support the economy, disappointing traders who had bet on hints of policy tightening.


Analysts said that market participants in droves aggressively bought back short positions that were placed earlier in the week on expectations that a stronger U.S. economy would dampen bullion demand.

"Much of what happened today is a short squeeze. I don't think this is a huge rush of new buyers into gold," said Axel Merk, chief investment officer at Merk Funds, which manages about $400 million of currency mutual-fund assets.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery settled $41.40 higher at $1,314.10 an ounce, its highest closing price since April 14.

Spot gold rose 3 percent to $1,315.49 an ounce—its highest level since May 5—before easing to $1,314 an ounce, up 2.9 percent in the day.

Technical buying also helped lift prices on Thursday as the rally sent gold above tough resistance at $1,285, near a key Fibonacci retracement as well as its 50- and 100-day moving averages, analysts said.

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Gold extended the previous session's gain as the Fed said in a statement after a two-day policy meeting that it had cut its U.S. growth forecast for 2014 to a range of between 2.1 percent and 2.3 percent from 2.9 percent.

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—By Reuters. CNBC contributed to this report.