(For more on the gold bear market, see EXT5.)
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Gold and silver futures fell the most in two months as the U.S. faced opposition from Russia on a military strike against Syria, eroding demand for a haven. Platinum and palladium posted the biggest declines in 10 weeks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will only support a United Nations resolution for military strikes if there’s conclusive proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its people. A U.S. Senate committee is set to vote today on President Barack Obama’s request for authority a strike. The Federal Reserve will release a report today on U.S. regional economies.
“Russia’s objections are taking some premium out of gold as it’s becoming increasingly clear that U.S. will face opposition,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Also, the tapering worries remain” on the timing for the Fed to scale back monetary stimulus, he said.
Gold futures for December delivery fell 1.6 percent to close at $1,390 an ounce at 1:41 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest decline for a most-active contract since July 5.
The price has dropped 17 percent this year, entering a bear market in April, after some investors lost faith in the metal amid an equity rally and low U.S. inflation.
The slump spurred losses for billionaire John Paulson, the top investor in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund backed by the metal. Newcrest Mining Ltd. and other producers have announced at least $26 billion in writedowns.
South Africa’s largest gold companies said they are closer to a wage agreement with the union that called almost two-thirds of the industry’s 107,000 workers out on strike overnight.
Gold futures have climbed 18 percent from a 34-month low of $1.179.40 on June 28 after Asian demand surged for jewelry, bars and coins.
Silver futures for December delivery fell 4.2 percent to $23.415 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest slump since July 5. The metal dropped the most among the 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index. The price has tumbled 23 percent this year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery fell 2.8 percent to $1,494.70 an ounce, the largest decline since June 26.
Palladium futures for December delivery fell 2.7 percent to $698.25 an ounce, the biggest drop since June 26. The price declined for the fifth straight session, the longest slump since October.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola