Gold retreats from five-year highs

Gold retreated from the highest level since November as a five-day advance damped physical demand and US Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen pledged to continue with a gradual tapering of stimulus.

Bullion for immediate delivery lost as much as 0.6% to $1 284.15 an ounce, and was at $1 286.78 at 3:12 pm in Singapore. Prices climbed to $1 293.93 on Tuesday, the highest level since November 14, capping a five-day, 2.9% rally that was the longest since August.

Gold is up 6.7% this year on haven demand from a rout in emerging markets even as US policy makers have twice since December cut monthly bond-buying by $10-billion. In her first testimony to Congress as head of the Fed, Yellen said stimulus will be cut in measured steps, while reiterating that purchases aren't on a preset course. Volumes for Shanghai's benchmark spot contract fell on Tuesday from a nine-month high.

"Physical buyers are very sensitive to price changes so it's no surprise if demand slows," said Lv Jie, an analyst at Cinda Futures, a unit of one of four funds in China created to buy bad debt from banks. "ETF flows appear to be stabilising and bullion investors seem to interpret Yellen's comments as neutral for the market."

Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded product backed by bullion, rose on Tuesday after holdings were unchanged for four days. The holdings are little changed this year after contracting 41% in 2013.

Futures Drop
Gold for April delivery decreased as much as 0.5% to $1 283.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York and traded at $1 286.90, halting a five-day advance that was the longest winning run for a most-active contract since August 2012.

Silver lost 0.3% to $20.1685 an ounce, snapping an eight-day advance that was the longest rally since August. Palladium added 0.3% to $720.85 an ounce, set for a sixth day of gains in the longest winning streak since July.

Platinum rose 0.2% to $1 391.25 an ounce, climbing for a fourth day. Talks to end a strike over pay that has crippled production at the world's largest platinum mines have been delayed to February 13 from Tuesday after the companies requested more time. – Bloomberg

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.


The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday