April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Gold declined to a two-week low as a stronger dollar curbed demand for the metal as an alternative investment.
The dollar gained as much as 0.6 percent against a basket of currencies amid concern that the outcome of French presidential elections will disrupt efforts to stem the region’s debt crisis. Euro-area services and manufacturing fell more than estimated in April, while data showed China’s production will contract for a sixth month, according to a Markit Economics and HSBC Holdings Plc.
“There is gloom and people want to move into cash,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The production numbers out of China have depressed market sentiment.”
Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.6 percent to settle at $1,632.60 an ounce at 1:42 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, prices slipped to $1,623.60, the lowest for a most-active contract since April 5. Prices have dropped 2.4 percent this month.
“Physical demand is really very quiet,” Bernard Sin, the head of currency and metal trading at MKS Finance SA, a bullion refiner in Geneva, said by telephone.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for June delivery declined 0.9 percent to $670.90 an ounce. Platinum futures for July delivery slumped 1.8 percent to $1,556.30 an ounce, the biggest fall since April 4.
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