Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Gold and silver prices fell to four-week lows on speculation that a recovering U.S. economy will spur the Federal Reserve to taper stimulus.
U.S. employers last month added 204,000 workers, more than forecast by analysts, government data showed Nov. 8. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, who backed record stimulus, said today in a Bloomberg Radio interview that discussions on scaling back $85 billion in monthly bond purchases may occur next month.
“Tapering has become the centerpiece again,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There is no reason for gold to go higher in the current environment.”
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.8 percent to close at $1,271.20 an ounce at 1:46 p.m. on the Comex in New York. After the settlement, the price touched $1,262.30, the lowest for a most-active contract since Oct. 15.
This year, gold has dropped 24 percent, heading for the first annual drop since 2000. Some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value amid a U.S. equity rally and low inflation.
Silver futures for December delivery dropped 2.4 percent to $20.778 an ounce. After the settlement, the price touched $20.60, the lowest since Oct. 15.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for December delivery fell 1.6 percent to $742.35 an ounce. The metal dropped for the fourth straight session, the longest slump since Sept. 5.
Platinum futures for January delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,439.60 an ounce. This year, demand will exceed supply by the most since 1999, London-based Johnson Matthey Plc said today in a report.
In South Africa, a strike by the National Union of Mineworkers continued at Northam Platinum Ltd. The walkout began Nov. 4.
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