Gold Drops From One-Week High; Platinum, Palladium Gain

Gold futures fell from a one-week high amid concern that demand is easing while global economic growth slows. Platinum closed at a three-month high.

Buyers of gold are holding back in anticipation of lower prices, according to Afshin Nabavi, a senior vice president at Geneva-based MKS (Switzerland) SA, a bullion refiner. The World Bank cut its growth forecast for this year and predicted a second year of contraction in the euro region.

“Any talk about slowing physical demand will put pressure on prices,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Overall, there is some nervousness because of slowdown worries.”

Gold futures for February delivery fell 70 cents to settle at $1,683.20 an ounce at 1:34 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Yesterday, the price reached $1,684.90, the highest for a most-active contract since Jan. 3. The metal rallied 7 percent last year, the 12th straight annual advance.

Silver futures for March delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $31.542 an ounce on the Comex.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery gained 0.2 percent to $1,694.10 an ounce, the highest closing price since Oct. 9.

Yesterday, the platinum settlement topped gold for the first time since March.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s biggest producer, said yesterday it will cut jobs and output in South Africa.

Palladium futures for March delivery rose 1.8 percent to $726.45 an ounce on the Nymex. Earlier, the price reached $727.90, the highest since Sept. 19, 2011.

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