CHICAGO, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled higher Tuesday, supported by signs of inflation in Japan.
The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 14.5 dollars, or 0.87 percent, to settle at 1,683.9 dollars per ounce.
This was the highest settlement since Jan. 2, according to reports. The Bank of Japan is expected to agree to the demand of newly returned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a firm 2 percent inflation target, up from a current informal goal of 1 percent.
For gold's gains Tuesday, according to market analysts, it is supported amid a rising inflation outlook in Japan. Gold has traditionally been used as a hedge against inflation, so signs of higher inflation tend to work in gold's favor.
Gold stayed firm after data showed Tuesday that U.S. retail sales rose 0.5 percent last month, more than twice what economists expected. U.S. retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in December and sales for November and October were revised slightly higher, according to U.S. Commerce Department data released on Tuesday.
Against this backdrop, silver for March delivery advanced 41.9 cents, or 1.35 percent, to close at 31.529 dollars per ounce.