Gold traders seem to like it when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke opens his mouth to speak about the economy.

The largest exchange traded fund (ETF) for gold, SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), was up 2% in afternoon trading Friday thanks to a late-day spike after Bernanke said high unemployment and a weak housing market are putting some at risk of being left behind in the recovery.

“The broader economy is in a moderate recovery, and we have recently seen some welcome, if gradual, improvement in the labor market,” Bernanke said in a speech. “But our economy is far from where we would like it to be, and many people and neighborhoods are in danger of being left behind.”

Gold prices touched $1,560 an ounce Friday afternoon, a fresh record high. The metal has been rallying since Wednesday when the Fed and Bernanke signaled the central bank’s intentions to keep rates low to boost the economic recovery.

SPDR Gold Shares

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.

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