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TORONTO, July 11 (Reuters) - Shares of gold miners rallied on Thursday as bullion prices jumped to a near three-week high after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it would continue to pursue monetary stimulus, given tame inflation and a fragile labour market.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday that a highly accommodative policy was needed for the foreseeable future, surprising investors after his comments on June 19 that the economy was expanding strongly enough for the Fed to end the stimulus measures by mid-2014.
The spot gold price climbed as much as 2.7 percent to $1,298.36, its highest since June 24. It was up 1.6 percent to $1,284.34 an ounce by 1340 GMT.
Shares of Barrick Gold Corp, the world's largest gold producer, surged 6.7 percent to $14.94 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, while those of smaller rivals Newmont Mining and Goldcorp rose 5.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
The rally in shares of Barrick, Goldcorp, Kinross Gold an other gold miners lifted the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index in early trading on Thursday.
Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Nick Zieminski