Gold Drops as Gain in U.S. Confidence Spurs Tapering Bets

Gold futures declined for the third straight day after a report showed rising confidence among American consumers, boosting speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back monetary stimulus.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment rose more than estimated in November. Earlier, gold climbed as China’s net imports from Hong Kong in October reached the second-highest on record, Bloomberg calculations based on government data show. The metal has slumped 26 percent this year.

“The U.S. confidence number is telling us that the economy is on the right track, and that’s not so good for gold,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “While physical demand is a nice story, the support from it is limited.”

Gold futures for February delivery declined 0.3 percent to settle at $1,237.90 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price rose as much as 1.1 percent. On Nov. 25, the metal touched $1,226.40, the lowest for a most-active contract since July 8.

Trading was 51 percent above the average for the past 100 days for this time, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

The 14-day relative-strength index fell to 30.44. A reading below 30 signals to some analysts using charts that the price may be set to rebound.

Gold headed 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 March delivery declined 1.1 percent to $19.682 an ounce on the Comex. The price has tumbled 35 percent this year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery fell 1.4 percent to $1,352.70 an ounce. The price dropped for the sixth straight session, the longest slump in 11 months.

Palladium futures for March delivery slid 0.3 percent to $715.95 an ounce.

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