Better-than-expected U.S. retail sales and business inventories data also put pressure on haven gold in Monday dealings. Business inventories rose 0.6% in December, while retail sales rebounded by 0.2% in January, after tumbling by a revised 1.6% a month earlier.
April gold GCJ9, -0.46% shed $6.30, or 0.5%, at $1,293 an ounce, after bullion rose 1% on Friday and briefly exceeded $1,301 intraday. That capped a volatile week that saw the most-active contract finished little changed from the week-ago settlement.
May silver SIK9, -0.45% meanwhile, fell 7.9 cents, or 0.5%, to $15.27 an ounce, after producing a 0.6% weekly climb on Friday.
Commodity strategists say gold may be retreating as investors shrink flows into gold exchange-traded funds, like the SPDR Gold Shares GLD, -0.56% which traded 0.6% lower Monday. Holdings in gold-backed ETFs and similar products fell in February, after four straight months inflows, the World Gold Council reported Thursday.
Bullion’s gains on Friday had followed an employment report that showed the weakest job creation in the U.S. in 17 months, with only 20,000 new jobs added to February payrolls.
Bloomberg News reported that investors dumped gold ahead of the jobs report, resulting in bullish hedge-fund bets on bullion being slashed by 54% to 47,872 futures and options contracts in the week ended March 5, citing Commodity Futures Trading Commission data published Friday. Meanwhile, bets that gold’s price would decline jumped the most since July.
“At 7 tons, they were even fairly high, meaning that outflows since the beginning of the month have totaled 27.5 tons,” wrote commodity analysts at Commerzbank in a Monday research report.
“Not much remains of the strong inflows seen in January. The slide in the gold price that began in mid-February and continued into March was largely attributable to speculative financial investors,” the analysts wrote.
In other metals trading, May copper HGK9, +0.07% traded flat at $2.894 a pound and April platinum PLJ9, -0.76% edged down by 0.8% to $811 an ounce, but June palladium PAM9, +0.97% added 0.8% to $1,470.80 an ounce.
The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was trading at $122.13 per share on Monday morning, down $0.71 (-0.58%). Year-to-date, GLD has declined -1.23%, versus a 4.35% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
This article is brought to you courtesy of MarketWatch.