Gold headed for the biggest monthly loss since December 2011, as assets in bullion-backed exchange- traded products shrank by the most on record, countering an increase in demand for physical metal.
Bullion for immediate delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to $1,469.05 an ounce, and traded at $1,470.63 by 11:54 a.m. in Singapore. Gold is set for an 8 percent slide in April after it plunged into a bear market. Prices sank 14 percent in the two days to April 15, the most since 1983. Gold for June delivery rose 0.2 percent to $1,469.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Gold ETP holdings declined 168.22 metric tons in April, heading for the biggest monthly drop on record in tonnage terms, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While prices recovered 11 percent from a two-year low of $1,321.95 on April 16 as coin and jewelry demand expanded, they’re still 5.8 percent below the April 11 close that preceded the rout.
“Holders of gold exchange-traded funds continue to liquidate holdings,” James Steel, an analyst at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., wrote in a note. “May Day holidays across the globe will limit trading volume and physical demand in precious metals.”
Gold jumped 4.2 percent last week, the most in 15 months, partly as coin demand from mints in the U.S. and Australia to the U.K. soared after prices plummeted. The volume for the benchmark contract on the Shanghai Gold Exchange surged to a record last week, while premiums to secure supplies in India jumped to five times the level before the slump. India and China are the world’s largest consumers.
Silver fell 1.1 percent to $24.2995 an ounce, 15 percent lower this month, the worst loss since December 2011. Platinum slipped 0.5 percent to $1,502.80 an ounce, set for a third monthly decline. Palladium rose 0.3 percent to $701.90 an ounce, down 9.1 percent this month in the worst performance since May.
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