Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Friday, with prices continuing their rebound from hefty losses in 2013 to score a nearly 2 percent gain for the week. The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 13.4 U. S. dollars, or 1.09 percent, to settle at 1,238.6 dollars per ounce. Gold prices, which closed at 1,214 dollars a week ago, finished Friday at their highest level since Dec. 16, according to FactSet data. According to market analysts, bargain hunting and short- covering may have been the initial catalysts for gold market Friday. There are also signs of increasing demand for bars and coins, especially from Asia, which prompts gold futures to score a two-week high. A lot of investors are seeing the drop as an opportunity to accumulate gold, analysts say. In 2013, gold lost 28 percent, the most since 1981 and the first drop since 2000. Some investors lost faith in the metal as an alternative investment amid a record U.S. equity rally and lower inflation. China's demand for jewelry, bars and coins rose 30 percent to 996.3 metric tons in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, while usage in India, the second biggest buyer of the world, gained 24 percent to 977.6 tons, London-based World Gold Council statistics show. Silver for March delivery rose 8.3 cents, or 0.41 percent, to close at 20.211 dollars per ounce.