Gold Declines First Time in Three Days Before EU Summit

Gold futures declined for the first time in three days as Chinese data signaled improving economic growth, easing pressure on the government to announce measures to boost expansion.

China’s industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment accelerated in September after a seven-quarter slowdown. European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels for two days starting today. Gold surged 11 percent in the last quarter after the U.S., Japan and the European Central Bank enacted measures to stimulate growth, increasing demand for the precious metal as an inflation hedge.

“Investors are not sure whether there will be more stimulus from China after today’s strong data,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Also, the market is a little cautious about the outcome of the meetings in Europe.”

Gold futures for December delivery slid 0.5 percent to settle at $1,744.70 an ounce at 1:44 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices gained 0.9 percent in the previous two sessions.

China’s gross domestic product expanded 7.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, matching economists’ estimates. The country’s economic growth has started to stabilize, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing Premier Wen Jiabao.

Silver futures for December delivery fell 1.1 percent to $32.868 an ounce.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery slipped 1.6 percent to $1,643.70 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery retreated 0.9 percent to $647.20 an ounce.

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