(Bloomberg) -- Gold held losses after a two-day drop on expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to taper stimulus in the U.S. and as holdings in the largest exchange-traded fund shrank by the most in two months.

Bullion for immediate delivery traded at $1,313.43 an ounce at 2:11 p.m. in Singapore from $1,311.60 yesterday, when prices dropped 0.8%. It touched $1,332.45 on Feb. 18, the highest since Oct. 31, before closing 0.5% lower. Gold for April delivery lost 0.6% to $1,312.40 on the Comex.

Gold rose 8.9% this year as signs that the U.S. economy wasn’t recovering in line with expectations boosted demand for a haven. Several Fed policy makers said that in “the absence of an appreciable change in the economic outlook, there should be a clear presumption in favor” of continuing to trim bond purchases by $10 billion at each meeting, according to minutes of their January meeting released yesterday.

“Gold has historically benefited from easier monetary policies and the prospect of less loose monetary policies going forward is negative for gold,” James Steel, an analyst at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., wrote in a note. While gold is at risk of further consolidation, “we remain positive on bullion should it remain over the psychological $1,300 an ounce level and the 200- day moving average of $1,303,” he said.

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest gold-backed ETP, decreased 0.7% to 795.61 tons yesterday. That’s the biggest decline since Dec. 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


Fed policy makers backed away from a year-old commitment to consider raising interest rates when unemployment falls below 6.5%, according to the minutes. With joblessness falling faster than expected even as other labor-market indicators show weakness, policy makers agreed it would “soon be appropriate” to revise their guidance, they showed.

Unemployment fell last month to 6.6%, the lowest in more than five years, while reports last week showed retail sales and industrial production unexpectedly fell in January.

Silver for immediate delivery lost 0.1% to $21.5141 an ounce after earlier rising as much as 0.9%. Prices fell 1.9% yesterday, the first decline in 14 days.

Platinum fell as much as 0.5% to $1,407.38 an ounce, the lowest since Feb. 13, and was at $1,411.13. Palladium dropped 0.3% to $731.15 an ounce.

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