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Gold heads for thrid weekly drop

gold_shopGold headed for a third weekly loss in the longest run of declines since September as U.S. employment data may add to signs that the world’s largest economy is gaining traction.

Gold for immediate delivery fell as much as 0.3 percent to $1,279.30 an ounce, the lowest level since June 19, and was at $1,283.85 at 2:20 p.m. in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal declined 3.4 percent in July to post the biggest monthly loss this year as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index completed the largest advance since May 2013.

Gold slumped 28 percent last year on speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce monthly bond purchases, which were cut this week for a sixth time. Data today may show U.S. employers added more than 200,000 jobs for a sixth month after a report yesterday showed claims of unemployment benefits in the past month sank to an eight-year low. Bullion failed to rally this week even as weaker corporate results sent global equities tumbling amid Argentina’s debt default.

“Gold prices continued to pull back as stronger-than-expected reports on the U.S. economy damped demand for safety plays,” said Sarah Xie, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Wing Fung Financial Group Ltd. “Investors are reluctant to take big positions ahead of the U.S. jobs data.”

Gold for December delivery climbed 0.2 percent to $1,284.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust, the largest bullion-backed exchange traded-product, were unchanged for a fifth day yesterday at 801.8 metric tons.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index held gains after rising yesterday to the highest level since March 20. While the average monthly advance in U.S. payrolls so far in 2014 has been about 231,000, Fed policy makers said in their statement this week that the labor market still has plenty of room for improvement.

Palladium for immediate delivery rose 0.2 percent to $874.25 an ounce, after yesterday capping a sixth month of gains in the longest such run since January 2011. The metal climbed to $889.75 on July 17, the highest since February 2001, on concern that Russian supplies may be curbed on sanctions.

Palladium, used mainly in catalytic converters, rose 22 percent this year as output was disrupted by a five-month mine strike that ended in June in South Africa, the largest producer after Russia, while demand from the auto industry increased.

Spot silver was at $20.4072 an ounce from $20.3962 yesterday, when the metal completed a monthly decline. Platinum added 0.3 percent to $1,465.06 an ounce after dropping in July for the first month in four.-Bloomberg