Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Wednesday for a third session in a row, supported by potential higher demand for jewelry, bars and coins, especially in China. The most active gold contract for August delivery rose 1.5 dollars, or 0.12 percent, to settle at 1,247.4 dollars per ounce. Gold tumbled 23 percent in the second quarter, and some buyers have used the plunge as an opportunity for purchases, according to a report released by ABN Amro Group N.V. Wednesday. Some analysts say retail buying in gold remains strong, especially in China, while the weakness in the U.S. dollar on the day also providing some underlying support for gold. The U.S. dollar fell as much as 0.6 percent against a basket of six major rival currencies. Also Wednesday, gold futures gained more ground in electronic trading after the close of the COMEX, with August gold rising further to 1,261 dollars an ounce, shortly after the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve\'s meeting in June. About half of the Fed\'s 19 member policy-making committee said they would support ending its monthly 85-billion-U.S. dollar bond buying program late this year. Some analysts believe gold\'s gain comes from comments from several Fed officials trying to reassure the markets, backing away a little from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke\' s original comments that spooked the market, according to MarketWatch. Against this background, silver for September delivery rose 2.7 cents, or 0.14 percent, to close at 19.165 dollars per ounce.