Gold futures declined for the fourth time in five sessions as the dollar’s rebound reduced the appeal of the metal as an alternative investment.
The greenback rose for the first time in four sessions against a basket of major currencies. The gauge has climbed 3.7 percent this year, while gold has dropped 6.2 percent. Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded-product backed by the metal, fell 0.9 metric ton to 1,205.31 tons on April 5, the lowest since June 2011.
“The strength in the dollar is working against gold,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview.
Gold futures for June delivery slipped 0.2 percent to settle at $1,572.50 an ounce at 1:38 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Volume was 33 percent lower than the 100-day average at this time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Last week, the price dropped 1.2 percent.
“ETP outflows remain the largest downside risk to gold prices,” Barclays Plc analysts including Suki Cooper said today in a report. “Should outflows persist at this pace, they would match the weakest month on record, which was set in February.”
Gold jumped 1.5 percent on April 5 after U.S. payrolls in March trailed forecasts by economists, bolstering prospects for prolonged monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve.
Silver futures for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $27.138 an ounce on the Comex. The price has slumped 10 percent this year.
As of April 2, hedge funds held a net-short position of 2,982 contracts, the first bet on a decline since the data begins in 2006, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission figures showed on April 5.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,537 an ounce.
Palladium futures for June delivery advanced 0.8 percent to $729.80 an ounce. Last week, the price tumbled 5.8 percent, the most since May.