CHICAGO, Oct. 18 -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Wednesday, extending their gains to a second-straight session with the precious metal finding support from a weaker U.S. dollar.
The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 6.7 dollars, or 0.38 percent, to settle at 1,753 dollars per ounce.
According to market analysts, gold finds support from demand prospects as growing optimism on progress toward a solution to Europe's debt troubles, however, an upbeat U.S. housing data dulled some of the metal's safe-haven appeal, limiting its gains on the day.
Construction starts on new U.S. homes surged 15 percent in September to an annualized rate of 872,000, which easily beat some of the economists'forecasts.
Also on Wednesday, the euro extended gains against rivals, hitting a one-month high against the U.S. dollar. Analysts say the catalyst for buying in the shared currency was Moody's Investors Service affirmation of Spain's sovereign rating at Baa3, albeit with a negative outlook.
Weakness in the U.S. dollar usually buoys dollar-denominated commodities such as gold because it makes them cheaper for holders of other currencies. The ICE dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, fell to 79.011 from 79.371 late Tuesday.
Silver for December delivery rose 27.3 cents, or 0.83 percent, to close at 33.232 dollars per ounce.