Gold futures declined the most in a week amid concern that demand for bullion has declined from China, the world’s largest buyer after India.
Banks extended 623.2 billion yuan ($99.5 billion) of local-currency loans last month, the People’s Bank of China said on its website today, below the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Gold imports from Hong Kong fell 29 percent in August from July amid a seasonal slowdown and as higher prices deterred buyers, data from the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government show.
“People are worried about China’s growth, and that has cast a gloom over gold,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview.
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.6 percent to settle at $1,759.70 an ounce at 1:36 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest decline since Oct. 5. For the week, the price dropped 1.2 percent, the most since July 6.
During the three months ended Sept. 30, gold jumped 11 percent, the most for any quarter in two years, on demand for a store of value as central banks in the U.S., Europe and Japan announced stimulus programs.
Silver futures for December delivery fell 1.2 percent to $33.669 an ounce on the Comex. The 2.6 percent decline for the week was the biggest for a most-active contract since June 22.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery slumped 1.8 percent to $1,659.30 an ounce, capping a 2.8 percent drop for the week, the first decline in three weeks. Palladium futures for December delivery slipped 1.8 percent to $639.05 an ounce, the biggest drop since Sept. 26.