Gold has capped its biggest four-day drop since November after the Federal Reserve stoked the outlook for higher interest rates.
Bullion, which slid the most since 1981 last year as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value, rebounded 11 per cent in 2014 amid faltering US economic growth and escalating tensions in Ukraine before retreating to near $US1,330 an ounce.
Goldman Sachs’ Jeffrey Currie said this month the gains would be short-lived and the chances were increasing prices would reach $US1,000 for the first time since 2009.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday said the central bank’s stimulus program could end this northern autumn and benchmark interest rates could rise about six months later. Policy makers cut monthly bond-buying by $US10 billion at the conclusion of their two-day meeting on Wednesday, leaving purchases at $US55 billion.
People are re-assessing their reasons to hold gold, Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. Gold has removed its safe-haven hat.
Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.8 per cent to close at $US1,330.50 on the Comex in New York. Prices dropped 3.5 per cent in four straight sessions of losses, the longest slide since November. Bullion reached $US1,320.80 on Thursday, the lowest since February 28.
Trading was 34 per cent higher than the 100-day average for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
The Fed on Wednesday released new forecasts showing more officials predicting the benchmark rate, now close to zero, would rise at least to one per cent at the end of 2015.