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Gold On 9-day Win Streak

Gold prices rose for a ninth consective day Wednesday, the longest such streak in months, despite encouraging U.S economic data.

Feb. gold gained $2.40, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,318.50/oz, the highest since September.

Reflecting strong expansions in new orders and production, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Wednesday showing growth in U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly accelerated in the month of December.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 59.7 in December from 58.2 in November, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 58.1.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing a bigger than expected increase in U.S. construction spending in the month of November.

The Commerce Department said construction spending climbed by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of $1.257 trillion in November from a revised $1.247 trillion in October. Economists had expected spending to rise by 0.5 percent.

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