Futures & Commodities

Gold falls as dollar pares losses; platinum sinks on stocks rout

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Gold turned lower on Monday, as the dollar pared losses, and U.S. shares and other commodity markets staged a comeback while the white precious metals fell on concerns about the Chinese economy.

World stock markets initially plunged after a near-9 percent dive in China shares, attracting safe haven buying to gold as crude oil futures fell sharply to 6-1/2-year lows and copper to a six-year low.

was down 0.6 percent at $1,153.76 an ounce, after rising to $1,167.50 an ounce. U.S. December gold futures settled down 0.5 percent at $1,153.60 an ounce.

Platinum dropped as much as 4.5 percent, palladium hit a three-year low at $563.72 an ounce and silver fell 4.8 percent to the lowest since Aug. 6 at $14.57 a ounce.

The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters CoreCommodity Index fell as much as 3.2 percent to the lowest level since December 2002 after slumping Chinese equities fueled worries of a hard landing in the world's biggest consumer of raw materials.

"There is no real fundamental reason to buy gold with interest rates purportedly going to rise soon and I anticipate that those holding a small percentage of gold in their portfolio would be inclined to liquidate as their equity portfolio's get pummeled," said Barry Steinman, an independent trader in Philadelphia.

The U.S. dollar fell 1.7 percent to its lowest since the end of January before paring losses.

Run to cash, not gold: Strategist

"Today's action is more related to equity flows rather than anything else," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy for TD Securities in Toronto.

Gold has now rebounded 7 percent from a 5-1/2-year low of $1,077 reached in late July, benefiting from uncertainty posed by China's surprise devaluation of its yuan currency.

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"The re-pricing of the Fed rate hike is supportive in the short term but even though this has been pushed back, it will happen at some point and that will prevent any significant recovery in the gold price," said Danske Bank senior analyst Jens Pedersen when bullion prices were firm.

Worries about global deflation, however, would not bode well for gold, typically seen as a hedge against inflation.

"Deflation by itself is not positive for gold ... but because so much hinges on what the Fed will do later this year, any increased expectation of low inflation or deflation for a period of time means that a rate rise is pushed back even further into the future," Mitsubishi Corp strategist Jonathan Butler said.