Gold futures dropped the most this month as signs of gains for U.S. housing revived concern that policy makers could soon raise interest rates.
A private report showed U.S. homebuilder confidence reached a decade high, boosting speculation the industry may remain solid for months to come. Last week, figures showed improvement for consumer sentiment and signaled a robust labor market. Traders are closely following economic indicators for clues on when the Federal Reserve will boost rates, which cut the appeal of gold because it doesn’t pay interest.
The back-and-forth debate over the rate liftoff has left gold traders whipsawed. Prices last week briefly erased 2015 losses, only to retreat again by Friday. Fed-fund futures now show a 32 percent chance of a rate increase in December, up from 27 percent on Wednesday.
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to settle at $1,172.80 an ounce at 1:38 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss since Sept. 30. Prices are down after dropping 0.4 percent on Friday, the first back-to-back declines in two weeks.
Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products fell 5.4 metric tons on Friday, cutting the week’s increase to 8.3 tons, data compiled by Bloomberg show. While the holdings have gained in four of the past five weeks, they are still down almost 4 percent this year to 1,537.33 tons.
Silver futures for December delivery dropped 1.7 percent to $15.841 an ounce on the Comex, the biggest retreat since Oct. 8. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1,014.60 an ounce, while palladium futures for December delivery slid 1.6 percent to $688.10 an ounce.