Gold Rally Stalls as Equity Rally Damps Demand for Haven Assets

Gold is losing momentum after the best month in three years as gains in the equity market curbed demand for haven assets.

Prices settled little changed Thursday and are down 3.4 percent since reaching a five-month high in late January. The MSCI All-Country World Index of shares rose for a fourth straight session, after posting losses in January and December.

“On a day when stocks are up, who would want to own gold?” Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Traders are selling some of their gold positions and increasing their stake in equities.”

Gold futures for delivery in April slipped 0.1 percent to settle at $1,262.70 an ounce at 1:41 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices are heading for a second straight weekly loss, after jumping 8 percent in January.

“Trade has been very choppy, and that suggests nervousness as the news flow affects sentiment this way and that,” William Adams, head of research at FastMarkets Ltd., said by e-mail. “The precious metals are to varying degrees still consolidating after the strong rallies in January.”

Gold has risen 6.6 percent this year, boosted by concern that Greek debt negotiations will undermine the region’s financial stability. The European Central Bank said Wednesday that it will no longer accept junk-rated collateral from Greece, citing doubt over the government’s commitment to previous reform pledges.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $17.196 on the Comex, snapping four sessions of gains.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery rose 0.9 percent to $1,249.70 an ounce, capping a third straight gain. Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 0.7 percent to $795.70 an ounce.

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