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Gold Caps Longest Slump Since August as U.S. Equities Rebound

Gold futures capped the longest slump in three months as global equities rebounded, reducing demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities gained as much as 0.5 percent, reversing an earlier decline of as much as 0.4 percent. Investors awaited testimony tomorrow from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen before the Senate Banking Committee.

“Gold erased gains as equities rebounded,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The market will be closely watching any comments from Yellen tomorrow.”

Gold futures for delivery in December lost 0.2 percent to settle at $1,268.40 an ounce at 1:49 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal fell for five straight days, the longest slump since Aug. 6.

Bullion inventories monitored by the Comex totaled 7.16 million ounces as of yesterday, down 36 percent from a year earlier.

Prices have fallen 24 percent this year, 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.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery slid 0.5 percent to $1,432 an ounce, while palladium futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $735.45 an ounce.

The largest labor union at Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. cut its wage-increase demand by 31 percent as the parties worked toward avoiding a possible strike at the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, Johan Theron, a company spokesman, said today.

Silver futures for delivery in December dropped 1.6 percent to $20.442 an ounce on the Comex, a fifth straight decline.

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