Gold Price Falls a Fourth Day as Yellen Signals Higher Rates This Year

New York (july 16)  Gold fell for a fourth day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that U.S. interest rates will probably increase this year. Platinum dropped to a six-year low.

Gold is trading near its lowest in four months, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is at the highest since April. Yellen said Wednesday prospects are good for further improvement in the U.S. labor market. She will speak to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

Higher borrowing costs curb bullion’s allure because the metal doesn’t pay interest or give returns like other assets such as bonds and equities. While Yellen again acknowledged concerns over the situation in Greece, the Greek parliament’s vote to accept further austerity required for a new bailout clears one obstacle to raising U.S. rates.

“There has been a few hiccups along the way but the basic bearish story for gold over the past two years is that the Fed is moving towards interest rate normalization,” Matthew Turner, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said by phone from London. “Yellen seemed to brush off the possibility that Greece or China could push them off course so late in the day.”

Bullion for immediate delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1,145.71 an ounce by 10:31 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. It reached $1,143.42 on Wednesday, the lowest since March 17. A fourth straight drop would be the longest run of declines in three weeks.

Futures for delivery in August lost 0.3 percent to $1,144.40 on the Comex in New York, where trading volume was 27 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

Fed Rates

The Fed has held interest rates near zero for more than six years and last raised them in 2006. Yellen expects subsequent increases to be gradual.

Platinum for immediate delivery fell as much as 1.4 percent to $1,007.11, the lowest since February 2009, and was last at $1,011.35. The metal has fallen 16 percent this year, partly as production increases in South Africa, the biggest miner.

Prices fell a third day even as data showed European car-sales growth accelerated to the fastest pace in 5 1/2 years in June. Registrations rose 15 percent, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said Thursday. Platinum is mostly used to curb harmful emissions from vehicles.

Palladium declined 0.9 percent to $637.47 an ounce, also falling for a third day. Silver was 0.4 percent lower at $15.0336 an ounce.

Source: Bloomberg