Gold dropped for the first time in four sessions as U.S. equities halted the longest slump of the year, eroding demand for the precious metal as a haven.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of shares advanced as much as 1.2 percent, ending a five-session slide, as Alcoa Inc. opened the earnings season with an unexpected profit. Gold prices jumped 2.9 percent in the previous three sessions.
“People are leaning towards equities today,” Lance Roberts, the chief executive officer of Streettalk Advisors LLC in Houston, said in a telephone interview. “Investors are moving money out of gold to invest in stocks.”
Gold futures for June delivery declined 40 cents to settle at $1,660.30 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices have gained 6 percent in 2012 after advancing for 11 consecutive years.
Holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded products slipped 1.1 metric tons to 2,396.4 tons yesterday. They rose to a record 2,410.2 tons on March 13, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Silver futures for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to $31.521 an ounce on the Comex.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $1,584.30 an ounce. Palladium futures for June delivery declined 25 cents to $636.60 an ounce on the Nymex, retreating for the third straight day.