(Bloomberg) -- Gold held near a four-month low as investors focused on the likelihood of higher U.S. interest rates. Holdings in ETFs increased to the highest since 2013.
Bullion for immediate delivery slipped 0.3% to $1,254.84 an ounce at 10:54 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Following a two-week selloff, prices stabilized, sliding 0.2% this week. Credit Suisse Group AG said the bull market for gold is still intact and prices will average $1,450 an ounce next year.
“Gold is continuing to trend sideways,” Commerzbank AG said in a note to investors on Friday. “Renewed inflows of almost two tons into the gold ETFs are failing to give the gold price a boost.”
Mining companies, refiners and traders in the gold market are gathering next week in Singapore for the London Bullion Market Association’s annual conference.
Gold slumped this month against the backdrop of a firmer dollar and drumbeat of commentary from Federal Reserve officials that higher U.S. borrowing costs are needed. Fed Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said on Thursday that he supported an increase in September, and would like to see the central bank gradually raise rates going forward.
Upcoming data will give investors more indications about the potential rate path, including figures on retail sales, consumer sentiment and producer prices due on Friday. Traders currently assign about a two-thirds chance of a December rate increase, based on prices in federal funds futures contracts, and a less than 20% chance of a move next month.
The assets in gold-backed ETFs rose 1.9 metric tons to 2,050.3 tons as of Thursday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. This year, the holdings have surged 40%, with most of the increase coming in the first half.
Silver was little changed at $17.4953 an ounce. Platinum slid for a fifth day, losing 0.3% and palladium was little changed.