Investors sold holdings in gold-backed funds for a 14th day, the longest run in more than a year, as the Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting. Platinum reached the lowest since 2009.
Global holdings in bullion-backed ETPs fell 2 metric tons to 1,638.4 tons as of Monday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The run of losses was the longest since January last year.
Investors are waiting to see whether the Fed decides that the U.S. economy has gained enough momentum to warrant removing a pledge to be “patient” on raising borrowing costs, which would damp gold’s appeal as it generally offers returns only through price gains.
The dollar surged to the highest in a decade against major counterparts last week and hedge funds exited gold at the fastest pace in more than four months on speculation the Fed is getting closer to increasing rates.
“The dollar has risen almost relentlessly on expectations for higher interest rates, and as the European Central Bank eases in contrast to the U.S.,” Matthew Turner, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said by phone on Tuesday. “That and the anticipation of the Fed changing its language towards a rate hike have driven prices, and gold’s been the casualty.”
Gold for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,154.16 an ounce by 10:42 a.m. in London. The metal reached $1,147.72 on March 11, the lowest since Dec. 1. Gold for April delivery was unchanged at $1,153.20 on the Comex in New York. Futures trading volumes on the Comex were 43 percent below the average over the past 100 days for this time of day.
Platinum fell 0.2 percent to $1,105.88 an ounce, and earlier Tuesday reached $1,101.05, the lowest since July 2009. Above-ground platinum stockpiles equivalent to about 62 weeks of global consumption at the end of 2014 represent “one key reason for continued platinum price weakness into 2015,” Citigroup Inc. said in a report dated March 17.
Silver fell 0.5 percent to $15.5739 an ounce. Palladium slipped 0.3 percent to $777.65 an ounce.
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