Gold held its drop and headed for a fifth straight quarterly loss on prospects for a rise in U.S. interest rates this year as Federal Reserve policy makers honed their message on the outlook for borrowing costs.
Bullion for immediate delivery traded at $1,146.80 an ounce at 8:50 a.m. in Singapore from $1,146.20 on Friday, when it closed 0.7 percent lower, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.
Gold lost 5.7 percent over the past year as the Fed geared up to raise rates for the first time in almost a decade. St Louis Fed chief James Bullard floated on Friday the possibility of an increase as soon as next month after Chair Janet Yellen said she saw a case for tightening policy in 2015. Higher rates curb the appeal of the metal, which doesn’t pay interest or give returns like competing assets such as bonds and equities.
Odds on a move by the Fed in October are at just 18 percent, while there’s a 43 percent chance for a December move. Monthly U.S. payrolls data due this week may give further clues on the strength in the labor market.