Gold Futures Decline for Third Straight Day on Stronger Dollar

Gold futures fell for a third straight day as the dollar rallied on signs of stronger U.S. economic growth, curbing demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

The dollar gained versus all 16 of its most-traded counterparts as claims for jobless benefits fell to a five-year low and manufacturing expanded in July at the fastest pace in more than two years, adding to speculation that the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of monthly asset purchases this year.

“All of the economic data out today was better than expected,” Bill O’Neill, a partner at Logic Advisors in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, said in a telephone interview.

Gold futures for December delivery slipped 0.1 percent to settle at $1,311.20 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices capped a third day of losses, the longest slump since late June.

Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products fell 3.6 percent last month, the least since March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Assets in gold ETPs shrank 25 percent this year.

Bullion rose 7.3 percent in July, the biggest increase since January 2012. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last month that it’s too early to decide whether to begin scaling back debt purchases in September, after saying on June 19 that bond buying could slow if the economy improves. The Fed said yesterday it will continue its third round of quantitative-easing measures and inflation will rebound in the “medium term.”

Silver futures for September delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $19.624 an ounce in New York.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery gained 1 percent to $1,443.80 an ounce, the first increase in three days.

Palladium futures for September delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $731.85 an ounce. Prices jumped 9.9 percent last month, the biggest advance since November.

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