Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures fell for the third time in four days on signs that demand is ebbing in China, the world’s second-largest buyer.
The premium for the metal on the Shanghai Futures Exchange over international prices dropped to less than $10 an ounce at the end of September from more than $40 in July, according to Macquarie Group Ltd. Yesterday, futures touched $1,276.90, the lowest in eight weeks.
“We are not seeing any demand come in from China even at these levels, indicating that people expect it to fall further,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The mood in the market remains bearish.”
Gold futures for December delivery dropped 0.2 percent to settle at $1,317.60 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the metal dropped as much as 1.4 percent. Trading was 24 percent below the average in the past 100 days for this time, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Prices have dropped 21 percent this year as U.S. equities rose to a record and inflation remained low, eroding demand for a store of value.
China’s markets have been closed since Oct. 1 for national holidays. They open on Oct. 8. India’s is the biggest gold buyer.
Yesterday, futures jumped 2.7 percent on speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay reducing the pace of $85 billion in monthly bond purchases because the U.S. government shutdown may damp the economy.
Silver futures for December delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $21.786 an ounce on the Comex.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery slipped 1.4 percent to $1,373.30 an ounce.
Palladium futures for December delivery slumped 2.9 percent to $700.20 an ounce, the biggest drop since June 26.
--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Patrick McKiernan