Gold Falls on Signs China’s Demand Ebbs, Dollar’s Rebound

Gold futures fell on signs of slowing purchases of bars and jewelry in China, the world’s second-biggest consumer, while the dollar’s rebound eroded demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

China’s benchmark money-market rate jumped the most since July as the central bank refrained from adding funds to markets. Shanghai market spreads for gold have fallen to about $8 an ounce in recent days from above $25 last week, and Chinese demand “seems to be wavering,” Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said today in a report. The greenback rose from an eight-month low against a basket of 10 major currencies.

“Physical demand for gold in China may not be as strong as it was, and the rise in rates there boosts funding costs for precious metals,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “People are realizing too that the decline in the dollar recently may have been overdone. We’re not seeing new longs coming into the gold market.”

Gold futures for December delivery dropped 0.6 percent to settle at $1,334 at 1:44 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Trading was 39 percent below average for the past 100 days for this time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Yesterday, the price reached $1,344.70, the highest for a most-active contract since Sept. 30.

Gold has tumbled 20 percent this year, heading for the first annual decline since 2000. Some investors lost faith in the metal amid a rally in U.S. equities and low inflation. India is the top buyer of the commodity.

Silver futures for December delivery fell 0.8 percent to $22.617 an ounce. Yesterday, the price reached $22.83, the highest since Sept. 20.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery declined 0.8 percent to $1,439.60 an ounce, the first loss in six sessions. Palladium futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $746.10 an ounce. That was also the first decrease in six sessions.

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