Gold futures declined the most in more than a week as equities and commodities dropped with the U.S. government poised for its first partial shutdown in 17 years amid a budget dispute.
The MSCI All Country World Index and the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 raw materials slumped as much as 1.1 percent. Republicans in the House of Representatives want to delay President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act for a year and make changes to the health-care law, and Democrats have vowed not to let that happen.
“Gold is suffering along with other commodities and equities,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago said in a telephone interview. “This is general asset liquidation, and people want to be on the sidelines because of the uncertainty.”
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to settle at $1,327 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Sept. 20. Trading was 32 percent below the average in the past 100 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Silver futures for December delivery fell 0.6 percent to $21.708 an ounce.
The precious metals posted their first quarterly advances in a year because of increased tensions between the U.S. and Syria and as retail purchases of jewelry, coins and bars rose after gold touched a 34-month low in late June. Bullion climbed 8.4 percent in the third quarter, and silver added 11 percent.
About 800,000 federal workers will be sent home tomorrow if the U.S. Congress fails to pass a stopgap spending bill before funding expires tonight.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,412.40 an ounce, trimming the quarter’s gain to 5.4 percent.
Palladium futures for December delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $727.15 an ounce. Prices rose 10 percent this quarter, the biggest jump since December 2010.
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