Gold Declines Third Time in Four Days as Haven Demand Wanes

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Gold declined for the third time in four sessions as a rebound in emerging-market currencies slowed demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

South Africa’s rand and Turkey’s lira strengthened against the dollar. Both currencies weakened more than 6 percent versus the greenback this year through yesterday. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities rose for the first time in four sessions. Gold climbed 3.1 percent last month.

“There are some signs of stabilization today,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The gold rally seems to be running out of steam.”

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.7 percent to settle at $1,251.20 an ounce at 2 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices rose 1.6 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 23, as global equities declined and a selloff in emerging-market currencies accelerated.

BullionVault, an online service for investors to buy and sell physical gold and silver, said its Gold Investor Index slipped to an 18-month low in January of 51.9 as prices posted the first monthly advance since August. A reading above 50 indicates more buyers than sellers.

The precious metal slid 28 percent last year as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value after the U.S. economic recovery gained traction. The Federal Reserve said last week it will trim monthly bond buying by $10 billion.

Silver futures for delivery in March gained 0.1 percent to $19.422 an ounce.

Palladium futures for March delivery declined 0.4 percent to $700.10 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a ninth straight loss and the longest losing streak since March 2011. Platinum futures for April delivery fell 1 percent to $1,373.40 an ounce.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin Plc, the largest producers, resumed wage talks today with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which has been on strike since Jan. 23. The union represents more than 70,000 members.

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