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Metals Stocks: Gold falls to 3-week low and marks longest stretch of declines since April

Gold futures settled lower Tuesday for a fourth straight session, with the precious metal falling to the lowest value in about three weeks, breaching the psychologically significant value at $1,800 again.

December gold shed $22.50, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,783.80 an ounce, marking the lowest finish for a most-active contract since Nov. 3, FactSet data show.

The slump comes as Treasury yields extend their rise in a holiday-shortened Thanksgiving week. U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving.

December gold
GCZ21,
-0.96%

GC00,
-0.96%

traded $22.50, or 1.2%, lower to settle at $1,783.80 an ounce, marking the lowest finish for a most-active contract since Nov. 3, a day after the yellow metal sank 2.4% and logged the sharpest percentage drop since Aug. 6, FactSet data show. The four-day slide also matched the longest string of declines since the period ended April 30.

On Monday, gold’s steep decline came amid the White House’s announcement that President Joe Biden has nominated Jerome Powell to a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chairman, and named Fed Gov. Lael Brainard to serve as the central bank’s vice chair.

Markets are betting that Powell may have to move quickly to address out-of-control inflation by accelerating a reduction in the Fed’s monthly asset purchases and possibly picking up the pace of interest-rate increases.

“For US investors, it is all about the Fed’s policy, with the central bank expected to pursue a more hawkish approach towards monetary policy, as authorities try to tame inflation where CPI has recently hit a three-decade high,” wrote Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at ThinkMarkets, in a Tuesday note.

Those factors are seen as bearish for precious metals.

“Investors have been selling low- and zero-yielding assets as yields on government bonds continue to ascend. This is why gold and silver have fallen further, while technology and other growth stocks are also finding no love,” Razaqzada wrote.

Meanwhile, December silver
SIZ21,
-2.97%

SI00,
-2.97%

declined 86.6 cents, or 3.6%, to settle at $23.435 an ounce, also a three-week low for gold’s sister metal, following Monday’s 2% drop.

Industrial metal December copper
HGZ21,
+0.66%

 
HG00,
+0.66%

added 2.7 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $4.4235 a pound, following a 0.2% slide a session ago.

Meanwhile, January platinum
PLF22,
-4.76%

tumbled $50.90, or about 5%, to settle at $964.20 an ounce, after a 2% drop on Monday. December palladium
PAZ21,
-4.49%

lost $100.30, or 5.1%, to end at $1,850.30 an ounce, following a nearly 6% drop a day ago. Based on the most active contracts, platinum is down nearly 7% so far this week, which would represent the sharpest weekly slide since June 18, and palladium is off more than 10%, on track for its steepest such retreat since Sept. 10.

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