Gold Falls to 2-Week Low Amid Signs Economy Is Improving

Gold futures retreated to a two-week low amid signs that the global economy is improving, easing pressure on central banks to announce more stimulus measures.

Chinese industrial companies’ profits rose for a fourth month in December, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. Orders for U.S. durable goods climbed more than forecast in December, a Commerce Department report showed today. The Federal Reserve starts a two-day policy meeting tomorrow. Bullion retreated to a four-month low on Jan. 4 after minutes of a Fed meeting showed some policy makers favored ending $85 billion in monthly bond purchases this year.

“Gold is losing its safe-haven status as the global economy is showing signs of improvement,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Some people are on the sidelines waiting for the Fed’s decision.”

Gold futures for April delivery slid 0.2 percent to settle at $1,655 an ounce at 1:41 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,653.20, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 11. Last week, prices slumped 1.7 percent, the biggest drop in more than a month.

Trading volume in New York was 79 percent higher than the average in the past 100 days for this time of day.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.4 percent to $30.78 an ounce in New York, declining for the third straight session.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery slumped 1.9 percent to $1,662.30 an ounce, the biggest drop since Dec. 20. Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of the metal, has put plans to cut as many as 14,000 jobs in South Africa on hold for two months, the National Union of Mineworkers said.

Palladium futures for March delivery fell 0.1 percent to $740.55 an ounce on the Nymex.

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