Gold up on inflation concern

CHICAGO, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Thursday as investors became concerned with inflation.

The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 5 U.S. dollars, or 0.26 percent, to close at 1,913.6 dollars per ounce.

Investors are now focused on impending government spending increases as Democrats have control of the U.S. Senate, supporting gold.

Economic figures released on Thursday are upbeat, preventing gold's rise somewhat. U.S. Department of Labor reported the first-time filings for unemployment claims for the week ending Jan. 2 totaled 787,000, below the market expectations and lower than the previous week total.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that its services purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 57.2 percent in December, 1.3 percentage points higher than November's figure of 55.9 percent and rising for the 7th consecutive month.

Silver for March delivery rose 21.9 cents, or 0.81 percent, to close at 27.261 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery rose 14.4 dollars, or 1.3 percent, to close at 1,124.6 dollars per ounce.