Gold Caps Biggest Weekly Slump Since December as Dollar Rallies

Jan 31, 2014 3:45 pm ET

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Gold fell, capping the biggest weekly loss since late December, as a strengthening dollar reduced the appeal of commodities as alternative investments.

The dollar advanced to the highest since November against the euro as a report showed U.S. consumer spending climbed more than forecast last month. Gold rose through the first three weeks of January as falling equities and a rout in emerging- market currencies spurred haven demand.

“We’re off today because of the dollar strength,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “For the moment, there’s a little less fear out there, a little less need to move to the safety of gold.”

Gold futures for April delivery slipped 0.2 percent to settle at $1,239.80 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York, leaving prices down 2 percent since Jan. 24, the biggest weekly slump since Dec. 20. For the month, bullion was up 3.1 percent.

Prices declined 1.6 percent yesterday, a day after the Federal Reserve announced that it will further reduce a bond- buying program intended to spur economic growth. Gold rebounded this month from a six-month low of $1,181.40 on Dec. 31, partly as demand for bars, coins and jewelries surged.

Silver futures for delivery in March slipped less than 0.1 percent to $19.12 an ounce on the Comex. The metal reached $18.97 yesterday, the lowest this year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery lost 0.5 percent to $703.20 an ounce, a seventh straight decline and the longest slump since May 2012. Platinum futures for April delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,375.70 an ounce, after touching $1,364.60, the lowest since Dec. 31.

--With assistance from Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne. Editors: Joe Richter, Steve Stroth