Gold futures pared declines in New York as jewelers took advantage of the biggest drop in two months to increase their inventories.
A “big chunk” of gold may have been sold through futures trading, contributing to the 1.7 percent drop, said Afshin Nabavi, a senior vice president at bullion refiner MKS Finance SA in Geneva. Gold futures had gained for the past four sessions, and touched an all-time high of $1,301.60 on Sept. 24.
“Physical demand is still there,” Nabavi said. “We saw some Far Eastern buyers, and some Indian interest.”
Gold futures for December delivery slid $9.80, or 0.8 percent, to $1,288.80 an ounce on the Comex at 1:46 p.m. local time after earlier today falling as much as 1.7 percent, the biggest retreat since July 27. Metal for immediate delivery declined 0.6 percent to $1,286.80 an ounce. Spot gold didn’t fall as much as futures, declining as much as 0.9 percent.
Prices of futures have climbed every week except one since the start of August, and “a correction was needed,” Nabavi said. “I don’t think the market is at all bearish.”
This morning’s “fixing” of gold decreased 0.6 percent to $1,289 an ounce from yesterday’s afternoon fixing of $1,297, according to the London Bullion Market Association. The fixing is used by some mining companies to sell their production. Some companies sell future production by hedging it at fixed prices, adding to supply.
Gold miners will return to hedging, according to 77 percent of participants in a survey at the LBMA conference in Berlin today. Some companies such as AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. have reduced or eliminated hedges, betting that prices will continue to climb.
Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange- traded fund backed by bullion, were unchanged at 1,300.52 metric tons as of yesterday, according to figures on the company’s website. Major holders include billionaire John Paulson’s New York-based Paulson & Co.
Gold is “a great asset for people who are rich and who want to stay rich,” said Graham Birch, a former manager of BlackRock Inc.’s BGF World Gold Fund, at the LBMA conference in Berlin yesterday. “It’s not so good an asset for people who are poor and who want to get rich.”
Silver for December delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $21.23 an ounce on the Comex. Platinum for January delivery declined 1 percent to $1,618.10 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange and palladium for delivery in December lost 0.8 percent to $548 an ounce.