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Gold stocks resume slump

Gold stocks dropped, erasing most of yesterday’s gains, on concern Chinese buyers are losing their appetite for the metal.

Gold Fields Ltd., which owns mines in South Africa and Australia, sank 6.7 percent as of 2:34 p.m. in Johannesburg. Sibanye Gold Ltd. and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. tumbled more than 6 percent. The FTSE/JSE Africa Gold Mining Index fell 5.5 percent and is trading near the lowest since 2001.

“We’re seeing a calamity for gold on many fronts,” said Michele Santangelo, a money manager at Vunani Private Clients, said by phone from Johannesburg. “With China dumping stocks and wanting to hold cash, we’re not seeing the demand for physical gold that has been there in recent years.”

 Data earlier this week showed China’s net gold imports from Hong Kong slumped to the lowest level in almost a year. Demand for physical gold from China, the world’s biggest user of raw materials, was the weakest since 2009 during the second quarter, GFMS, the research unit of Thomson Reuters Corp., said in a statement.

Bullion prices are near a five-year low as the prospect of rising U.S. interest rates diminishes the metal’s appeal.

The FTSE/JSE Africa Gold Mining Index rose 6.8 percent on Monday, only to lose most of the gains today. The index tracking five producers in South Africa, tumbled 29 percent this year.-Bloomberg