June 19th, 2012

Gold futures may climb on speculation that the Federal Reserve will take more steps to boost economic growth and as a weaker dollar increased the appeal of the precious metal as an alternative investment.

The Fed begins a two-day meeting today amid prospects that policy makers will consider further monetary easing steps to sustain the U.S. economy. The dollar declined as much as 0.4 percent against a basket of currencies. Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products increased 6.1 metric tons to 2,399.72 tons, the biggest gain since March 29.

“The dollar’s weakness is helping gold,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Prices are cautiously higher ahead of the Fed meeting.”

Gold futures for August delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,628.50 an ounce at 9:21 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal is up 3.9 percent this year, after 11 consecutive annual increases.

Silver futures for July delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $28.725 an ounce in New York.

- Debarati Roy in New York and Nicholas Larkin in London at Bloomberg.