Gold slides 1 percent to five-year low as investors pull back

By Reuters

Jul 22, 2015 09:31 AM EDT

Gold fell more than 1 percent to a five-year low on Wednesday as a bounce in the dollar fueled downside momentum, with investors continuing to pull away from the metal after its dramatic slide earlier this week.

A looming rise in U.S. interest rates, the first in nearly a decade, has dented gold's investment appeal, encouraging more sellers in the market after Monday's 3 percent rout, its biggest one-day drop since September 2013.

Holdings in the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), SPDR Gold Shares, fell for a fourth day on Tuesday, declining another 4.8 tonnes to hit their lowest since 2008. Its reserves have nearly halved from their 2012 peak.

Spot gold was down 1.1 percent at $1,088.78 an ounce at 1213 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down $15.50 an ounce at $1,088.00. Earlier spot prices touched their lowest since March 2010 at $1,087.04 an ounce.

Its decline on Wednesday picked up momentum after the dollar moved into positive territory against a basket of currencies.

"Everything speaks against rising gold prices," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. "ETF investors are getting rid of their holdings, and it seems speculators are also continuing to sell. It's a perfect storm for gold."

"Expectations about the developments of U.S. interest rates are clearly an underlying trend," he added.

Monday's selloff came on the back of huge volumes traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange after investors dumped more than $500 million of bullion in New York in four seconds during early Asian trading hours.

That sparked a slide through key chart levels, triggering stop-loss orders that added to momentum. From a technical perspective, gold remains under pressure.

"Our next price target is seen at $1,044, the 2010 low, followed by $1,006, the late 2009 high," technical analysts at ScotiaMocatta said in a note. "Lower lows and lower highs keep this bearish price move in motion. Only a close back above $1,133 will stabilize the metal."

Physical demand has been sluggish despite this week's steep price drop. India is not rushing to pick up slack Chinese demand as would-be buyers wait for further price drops, with a wedding season lull and poor rains curbing appetite.

Spot platinum was down 1.8 percent at $959.49 an ounce, while palladium was down 2 percent at $612.80, both trading near multi-year lows. Silver was down 1.2 percent at $14.65 an ounce.

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