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Gold and Silver Slump On Dollar Strength

Gold futures fell from this month’s high as the dollar’s rebound crimped demand for precious metals as alternative investments. Silver dropped the most in a week.

In the week ended Nov. 11, the net-long position in Comex gold futures and options fell 14 percent, government data showed showed on Nov. 14. Holdings tumbled 49 percent over three weeks, the most since December. Assets inexchange-traded products backed by the metal extended a slump to the lowest since May 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Gold is heading for the second straight annual loss. Today, the dollar approached a five-year high against a basket of 10 major currencies. The Federal Reserve moved closer to its first U.S. interest-rate increase in eight years, while other economies announced more stimulus. European Central Bank Mario Draghi cited an “urgent need to agree on concrete short-term commitments for the euro area.”

“The dollar is getting a bid from Draghi’s statement and keeping a lid on gold,” Tai Wong, the director of commodity product trading at BMO Capital Markets Corp. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “The long-term fundamentals remain bearish.”

Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.2 percent to settle at $1,183.50 an ounce at 1:37 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price reached $1,193.60, the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 31.

Aggregate trading was 59 percent above the 100-day average for this time, data compiled by Bloomberg show. This year, futures have dropped 1.6 percent.

Jewelry Demand

Last week, gold gained for the first time in four weeks as demand for bars, coins and jewelry increased. The consumption will help support prices through November, Barclays Plc said today in a report. Voters on Nov. 30 will decide whether the Swiss National Bank should keep at least 20 percent of its assets in gold, up from 8 percent.

“Gold saw a bounce on some technical buying,” Wong said. “Prices may get some short-term support if the referendum goes through.”

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson kept his stake in the SPDR Gold Trust, the largest ETP, unchanged in the third quarter, a government filing showed on Nov. 14.

Paulson uses the ETF to back his funds’ gold share classes, which offer holdings denominated in the metal for investors interested in decoupling their assets from the dollar.

Silver futures for December delivery in December fell 1.6 percent to $16.057 an ounce, the biggest drop since Nov. 5.

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