Gold investors cut holdings in bullion- backed funds by the most this year as a stronger dollar and equities curbed demand for a haven. Silver prices traded near a two-month low.
Gold assets in exchange-traded products fell 7.1 metric tons as of Monday, the most December, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Holdings declined the past four days after touching an almost five-month high of 1,679.8 tons on Feb. 24.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reached the highest in data going back to January 2005 and U.S. stocks touched a record on Monday after a measure of U.S. consumer purchases rose in January. European equities traded near a seven-year high amid better-than-forecast reports on the region’s economy.
“The stronger dollar and higher U.S. equities mean the market’s risk appetite is very strong,” Helen Lau, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Argonaut Securities Asia Ltd., said by phone. “If investors have a strong appetite for risk, they don’t need to buy gold, which is an asset to preserve value.”
Bullion for immediate delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,208.02 an ounce by 10:56 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Prices slipped to $1,195.50 earlier Tuesday, the lowest in a week. Gold for April delivery lost 0.1 percent to $1,207.50 on the Comex in New York.
Futures trading volumes in New York were 22 percent above the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley retained a 10 percent import duty on gold on Feb. 28, while industry expectations had been for a cut in the tax. Purchases may still increase as jewelers and traders, who delayed buying in anticipation of a tax reduction, replenish stockpiles, according to Rajesh Exports Ltd. and HSBC Holdings Plc.
Silver for immediate delivery increased 0.1 percent to $16.4141 an ounce in London. It dropped as much as 1.9 percent earlier Tuesday to the lowest since Jan. 5. Platinum lost 0.2 percent to $1,187.41 an ounce and palladium fell 0.3 percent to $827.35 an ounce.
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