Gold Declines as Chinese’s Trade Data Erodes Haven Demand

Gold futures dropped for the second time in three days as trade expanded more than forecast in China, the world’s second-largest economy, eroding the appeal of the precious metal as a haven.

In January, exports from China surged 25 percent and imports climbed 29 percent from a year earlier, both topping projections by economists in Bloomberg surveys, government data showed today. Gold has declined 3.7 percent in the past 12 months, while the MSCI All-Country World Index of stocks advanced 8.6 percent.

“Money is moving to riskier assets like equities as people are not so worried about the global economic health,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures & Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. “Gold is losing its safe-haven premium.”

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.3 percent to settle at $1,666.90 an ounce on the Comex at 2:13 p.m. in New York. Trading volume was 40 percent less than the average in the past 100 days.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $31.441 an ounce. The price fell 1.6 percent this week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $1,714.70 an ounce. On Feb. 6, the metal reached $1,744.50, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 22, 2011.

Spot platinum traded at a premium of $48.20 an ounce to gold at 3:56 p.m. On Feb. 6, the spread was $59.10, the highest since August 2011.

In 2012, gold traded at an average premium of $135.35 above platinum.

“There has been a lot of focus on platinum-group metals lately as the implications of a slowly healing global economy amid a constrained supply environment create a conducive scenario” for gains, Joni Teves, an analyst at UBS AG in London, said in a report.

Palladium futures for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $751.50 an ounce on the Nymex.

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