Gold Set for Worst Run Since 2004 as Fed Sees End to Purchases

by Nicholas Larkin , Bloomberg.com  |  published on January 5, 2013

gold

Gold dropped to a four-month low in New York and headed for the longest run of weekly losses since 2004 after Federal Reserve minutes showed policy makers may end their $85 billion monthly bond purchases this year. Silver declined to the lowest since August.

Minutes released yesterday showed a divide among Fed members on how long the purchases should last. Participants who provided estimates were “approximately evenly divided” between those who said it would be appropriate to end the purchases around mid-2013 and those who said they should continue beyond that date. Gold futures fell below their 200-day moving average and are down for a sixth week, the longest run since May 2004.

“That there could be a lack of further quantitative easing measures has prompted a bit of profit-taking,” James Moore, an analyst at FastMarkets Ltd. in London, said today by phone. “It’s a knee-jerk reaction. There are still ultra-low interest rates,” which will support gold, he said.

Gold for February delivery slid 2.3 percent to $1,636.10 an ounce by 7:45 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices reached $1,626, the lowest since Aug. 21, and are down 1.2 percent this week. Gold for immediate delivery was down 1.7 percent at $1,636.08 in London.

Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products fell 10.2 metric tons yesterday, the most since May, to 2,620.8 tons, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

ETP assets reached a record on Dec. 20 and prices gained for a 12th consecutive year in 2012 as central banks from the U.S. to China pledged more steps to spur economic growth. While Credit Suisse Group AG yesterday said gold will average $1,740 this year, the most ever, it joined Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in predicting the 12-year bull market will probably peak in 2013.

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