Gold headed for a weekly decline as investors assessed the timing of higher U.S. borrowing costs amid slumping energy prices, with assets in the SPDR Gold Trust posting the longest period of decline since May 2013.
Bullion for immediate delivery fell as much as 0.4 percent to $1,157.94 an ounce, and traded at $1,160.41 at 8:48 a.m. in Singapore, down 1.5 percent this week, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Holdings in the SPDR, the largest exchange-traded product backed by the metal, shrank to a six-year low of 720.62 metric tons yesterday, contracting for an eighth day.
Gold is heading for the first consecutive annual loss since 2000 as oil prices at a four-year low eroded demand for an inflation hedge, and the Federal Reserve moves closer to the first rate increase since 2006. Global demand slid 2.5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier to the lowest level since 2009, the World Gold Council said yesterday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index traded near a five-year high before a U.S. retail sales report today forecast to show a small increase.
“Unless some material change occurs in the U.S. economy, we believe a rate hike remains on the cards, keeping gold price weak,” Zhu Runyu, an analyst at CITIC Futures Co., a unit of China’s largest listed brokerage, said in an e-mail today.
New York Fed President William C. Dudley said raising interest rates too early poses a bigger risk to the economy than acting too late. Fed policy makers ended a bond-buying program last month as the jobless rate fell to a six-year low.
Gold for December delivery lost 0.2 percent to $1,159.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York, on course for a fourth week of losses. Most-active prices are 3.7 percent lower this year after losing 28 percent in 2013.
Silver for immediate delivery slid 0.6 percent to $15.5645 an ounce, heading for a fifth weekly drop, The metal retreated 20 percent this year and dropped to $15.0681 on Nov. 7, the lowest price since February 2010.
Spot platinum traded at $1,193.63 an ounce from $1,196.50 yesterday, set for a fifth week of declines. Palladium was little changed at $766.95 an ounce, poised for a second weekly decrease.