Gold futures fell for the second straight day on investor sales after this year’s rally.
The metal reached an all-time high of $1,432.50 an ounce on Dec. 7 and is headed for a 10th straight annual gain. The price has climbed 26 percent this year, topping returns on U.S. stocks and bonds.
“Investors have had a good year in gold and commodities, and they want to take some of that money home,” said Leonard Kaplan, the president of Prospector Asset Management in Evanston, Illinois.
Gold futures for February delivery fell $6.90, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $1,380.50 at 12:39 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop since Dec. 16. The metal declined 0.1 percent yesterday. Floor trading ended early today, and the market will be closed tomorrow for the Christmas holiday.
Before today, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 13 percent this year, and the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury returned 7.4 percent.
Gold assets in exchange-traded products fell 9.29 metric tons to 2,104.4 tons yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from 10 providers. Holdings reached a record 2,114.6 tons on Dec. 20 and are up 17 percent this year.
Silver futures for March delivery fell 5.7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $29.328 an ounce on the Comex. The price has advanced 74 percent in 2010.
Palladium futures for March delivery rose $2.95, or 0.4 percent, to $758.10 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The metal has surged 85 percent this year.
Platinum futures for April delivery declined $8, or 0.5 percent, to $1,727.80 an ounce. The price has gained 17 percent in 2010.