Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday bounced off previous weakness and settled above the 1,700-dollar mark, as bargain hunters came in following Monday\'s nearly 3-percent drop. The most active gold contract for Dec. delivery gained 23.8 U.S. dollars, or 1.4 percent, to 1702.4 dollars per ounce. Market analysts said that bargain-hunting buying has come back into the market after the metal slumped to the 4-week low on Monday, providing a strong rebound that bodes well for gold\'s near and longer-term prospects. Meanwhile, a higher crude oil price also contributed to the rebound, as gold is usually bought as a hedge against inflation, said Mike Daley, a senior gold analyst with PFGBEST Group. New York crude oil hiked 1.09 dollars to 98.01 dollars per barrel, approaching the key mark 100 dollars again. Besides, the weakness in dollar added to the positive tone on the metal market. The dollar index on Tuesday traded around 78.244, down 0.154 percent from the previous trading day. Silver for Dec. delivery hiked 1.84 dollars, or 5.9 percent, to 32.95 dollars per ounce. Platinum for Jan. delivery also rose 27.2 dollars, or 1.76 percent, to 1,571 dollars per ounce.