Gold holds decline as dollar strengthens

Spot gold traded at $1,399.88 an ounce

Gold held losses as the dollar’s strength damped demand for a store of value and outflows from the largest bullion-backed exchange-traded product resumed.

Spot gold traded at $1,399.88 an ounce at 9:12 a.m. in Singapore from $1,399.43 yesterday, when prices decreased 0.9 percent. Cash silver was little changed at $22.536 an ounce.

Gold has dropped 16 percent this year as the dollar rallied on speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve may scale back asset purchases as the economy recovers. The Dollar Index rose for a second day today before U.S. employment data that may back the case for less stimulus. Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust fell to 1,010.45 metric tons, shrinking for the first time in a week.

“The dollar’s performance has kept gold in a tight range,” said Huang Fulong, an analyst at CITICS Futures Co., a unit of China’s largest listed brokerage. “We continue to watch ETF flows with interest. India took another step to curb demand, which weighed on sentiment, although it remains to be seen if it will be effective.”

Bullion for August delivery was little changed at $1,397.30 an ounce on the Comex, after sliding 1 percent yesterday as India, the world’s biggest consumer, widened curbs on imports. The restrictions on overseas purchases by banks on a consignment basis will be expanded to include state-run trading companies and others authorized to directly import gold, the Reserve Bank of India said.

Kansas City Fed President Esther George yesterday urged a reduction in the central bank’s bond-buying program as growth quickens. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said that a “modest adjustment downward” in purchases is possible “as early as this summer.”

Platinum climbed 0.2 percent to $1,496.35 an ounce, narrowing its loss this year to 2.8 percent. Palladium rose 0.2 percent to $752.30 an ounce, taking gains in 2013 to 6.8 percent.

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the second-biggest producer of the metal, said yesterday about 3,000 workers began an unauthorized strike after an employee was dismissed from one of its South African mines.

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