Gold slips from 4-month high, platinum down 2 pct

SINGAPORE - Gold dropped on Wednesday as speculators booked profits after the metal hit a four-month high near $1,000 an ounce the previous day, while platinum fell to a two-month low on fears of weakening demand.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 16 Jul 2008, 1:44 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:50 PM

Jittery stock markets, worried about the future of US mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, record-high oil, Middle East tensions and a volatile dollar, have pushed up gold prices to a level not seen since March.

Gold fell to $972.40/973.40 an ounce from $975.90/977.90 an ounce late in New York. It rose to $987.75 an on Tuesday, its highest level since March 19, before a drop in oil and other commodities erased some of the gains.

Gold struck a lifetime high of $1,030.80 in March.

‘It's a very volatile market. I think people are more cautious about the oil prices, the dollar,’ said Ellison Chu, senior manager at Standard Bank London in Hong Kong.

‘I think we may have a chance to see $995 or something like that. On the downside, we can still go back to $960.’

The physical bullion market came to a standstill as jewellery makers watched gold prices gyrate. But weaker platinum prices attracted bargain buying from Japanese investors who ditched their holdings in Tokyo futures, offering support around $1,940.

Platinum, a major component in autocatalysts, has been hit by expectations of lower demand from car makers as the US economy weakens.

Spot platinum hit a low of $1,931 an ounce, its lowest level since May 8, down from $1,971.00/1,991.00 late in New York after fears of falling demand resurfaced. Platinum hit a record of $2,290 an ounce in March.

‘After seeing sharp falls in stock prices, investors are becoming increasingly concerned about the outlook for the economy, which is leading to the selling of platinum,’ said Tatsuo Kageyama, an analyst at Kanetsu Asset Management in Tokyo.

‘Falling car sales in the United States due to high oil prices are another key factor hurting sentiment,’ he said.

The most active Tokyo platinum contract for June 2009 delivery on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange fell 292 yen per gram to 6,423 yen, having hit a low of 6,418 yen -- its lowest level since early May.

Oil fell more than $1 a barrel as a worsening outlook for the US economy reignited concerns over slowing demand. The euro fell to $1.5886 off a record high of $1.6040 hit the previous day, putting pressure on gold.

News that Toyota Motor Corp and General Motors Corp expected declines in sales weighed on platinum, which is a major component in autocatalysts, said Kazuhiko Saito of Interes Capital Management in Tokyo

‘Platinum demand will decrease. I think the New York spot price will reach $1,900 tonight. There's panic,’ he said.

Gold futures for August delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $5.4 an ounce to $973.3.

Spot palladium fell to $439.00/447.00 an ounce from $440.00/448.00 late in New York. Silver edged down to $18.84/18.89 an ounce from $18.86/18.93 late in New York.

Precious metals prices at 0647 GMT

MetalLastChange Pct chg YTD pct chg Turnover

Spot Gold972.30-4.30-0.4416.76

Spot Silver18.84-0.04-0.2127.56

Spot Platinum1944.50 -24.50-1.2427.93

Spot Palladium439.00-1.00-0.2319.29

TOCOM Gold3286.00 -50.00-1.507.39 64775

TOCOM Platinum6422.00 -293.00-4.3620.28 38609

TOCOM Silver637.80 -18.80-2.8617.89 1348

TOCOM Palladium 1501.00 -49.00-3.1611.10 2754



TOCOM prices in yen per gram, except TOCOM silver which is priced in yen per 10 grams. Spot prices in $ per ounce.

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