Gold and silver fell to three-month lows as the dollar climbed to the highest in more than a year, crimping demand for precious metals as alternative investments.
Bullion is heading for its first quarterly loss this year as tensions eased in Ukraine and the U.S. economy gained traction. Money mangers cut their bullish wagers on the metal for three straight weeks, while open interest in New York futures and options is near the lowest in five years.
More than $4.7 billion has been wiped from the value of gold-backed exchange-traded products since the end of June. Prices fell in three of the past four weeks amid mounting speculation that the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates, cutting the appeal the metal as a hedge against inflation. The prospect of higher U.S. borrowing costs has also buoyed the dollar, while Europe presses on with monetary stimulus to shore up its economy.
“Political turmoil in various parts of the world that made gold attractive earlier this year seems to have eased, and now economics is overriding geopolitical events,” said Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago. “People are moving to the dollar as the U.S. is emerging as the safe-haven economy.”
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to settle at $1,248.50 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,248.10, the lowest since June 6.
The precious metal has lost 5.6 percent this quarter. Fed policy makers will meet Sept. 16-17. Research yesterday from the Fed Bank of San Francisco suggested investors may be underestimating how quickly policy makers could raise rates.
Silver futures for December delivery slid 0.2 percent to $18.92 an ounce on the Comex, after reaching $18.89, the lowest since June 6.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery retreated 0.8 percent to $1,385.80 an ounce, after touching $1,383.20, the lowest since Feb. 11.
Palladium futures for December delivery slipped 2.9 percent to $860.45 an ounce, the biggest drop since June 12.
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