Gold traded near a five-year low as speculators were net-short the metal for the first time ever.
Bullion for immediate delivery slipped 0.4 percent to $1,094.92 an ounce at 2:35 p.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The shift in New York gold futures and options came as speculators increased their bearish wagers to the highest since the U.S. government data begins in 2006.
Prices sank 3.1 percent last week, the most since March, on mounting speculation that U.S. interest rates will climb this year, curbing the metal’s appeal because it doesn’t pay interest like competing assets. Citigroup Inc. lowered its three-month forecast on Monday, while Macquarie Group Ltd. on Friday said gold has lost its appeal as a commodity and as an alternative to currencies. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose for five straight weeks.
Spot gold touched $1,077.40 on Friday, the lowest since 2010. Speculators held a net-short position of 11,345 contracts in the week ended July 21, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.