Gold Falls From 15-Week High as Demand Slackens Following Rally

Feb 18, 2014 2:36 pm ET

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Gold fell from a 15-week high on speculation that demand for bars and coins will ebb following the rally.

The spot price has risen as much as 11 percent this year on signs that the U.S. economy wasn’t gaining as fast as forecast, while the metal’s slump last year spurred demand in China, the world’s biggest buyer. The U.S. Mint has sold 13,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins in February, compared with 91,500 ounces for all of January.

“The physical buyers are waiting for a pullback before jumping back into the market,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Weak U.S. data has been supporting gold.”

Gold for immediate delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,323.75 an ounce at 2:35 p.m. New York time. Earlier, the price reached $1,332.45, the highest since Oct. 31.

The metal last year fell 28 percent, the most since 1981, amid a U.S. equity rally to a record and subdued inflation.

The Federal Reserve has reduced monetary stimulus in the past two months following signs of a rebound in the labor market. Tomorrow, the bank will release minutes of its January meeting.

“The Fed will be looking for more indications before they decide to stop tapering,” Klopfenstein said.

Gold futures for April delivery rose 0.4 percent to settle at $1,324.40 on the Comex in New York. Floor trading was closed yesterday for a public holiday.

Spot platinum declined 0.4 percent to $1,425 an ounce. Yesterday, the price reached $1,434.56, the highest since Jan. 27. Palladium fell 0.5 percent to $737.11 an ounce.

More than 70,000 workers have been on strike since Jan. 23 at mines in South Africa, the world’s biggest platinum producer.

--With assistance from Nicholas Larkin in London and Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne. Editor: Patrick McKiernan