Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange advanced for the third session in a row on Friday, amid speculation that demand for gold will increase in China. The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 2.3 U. S. dollars, or 0.18 percent, to settle at 1,312.2 dollars per ounce. For the week, the contract rose 1.7 dollars from last Friday\'s closing price of 1,310.5 dollars, according to MarketWatch. Market analysts say, there is optimism about higher demand from China as its economy improves, which provides underlying support to the gold trading on the day, even though investors remain nervous about the U.S. Federal Reserve\'s tapering timetable of quantitative easing. China\'s industrial output growth picked up in July, according to data released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics. Industrial value-added output expanded 9.7 percent year on year in July, 0.8 percentage point higher than June\'s 8.9 percent and the highest growth in past five months. Against this background, silver for September delivery rose 21. 4 cents, or 1.06 percent, to close at 20.407 dollars per ounce. Gold dropped more than 22 percent this year, pressured by relatively low inflation and indications that the U.S. Fed will soon start to scale back its monetary stimulus to the economy.