Gold Heads for Third Weekly Loss


"Investors speculate economic recovery may dull the metal's appeal."

Gold fell, heading for a third straight weekly loss, on speculation that borrowing costs will rise as the economy recovers, eroding the metal's appeal as an alternative investment. Silver dropped to a seven-week low. Earlier today, the price fell to $1,337, the lowest since Nov. 18.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was heading for an eighth straight weekly gain and the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is trading at a two-week high. Last year, gold outperformed stocks and bonds, gaining 30%. The Munich- based Ifo Institute said its business-climate index increased to the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991.

"Higher interest rates take away the bullish argument that low opportunity costs are supportive for gold," said Tom Pawlicki, an analyst at MF Global in Chicago.

Gold futures for February delivery fell $3.80, or 0.3%, to $1,342.70 an ounce at 10:38 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal is down 1.3% for the week, after losing a total of 4.3% in the previous two weeks.

The Federal Reserve has kept the benchmark interest rate at 0% to 0.25% since December 2008 to bolster the economy. U.S. equities have been rising on optimism for the U.S. recovery.

Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products dropped 2.16 metric tons to 2,065.41 tons yesterday, the lowest amount since Aug. 18.

Gold is heading for the first monthly drop since July.

"We fear a washout to the downside is hard upon us," said Dennis Gartman, an economist and the editor of the Suffolk, Virginia-based Gartman Letter.

Silver futures for March delivery fell $0.273, or 1%, to $27.20 an ounce on the Comex, the lowest since Nov. 29. The metal is set for a third weekly drop, the longest losing run since March.

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