Gold futures fell for a second month in March, leading to a decline for the first quarter.
Futures traded mostly little changed on Tuesday, ending the day with a 0.2 percent loss after Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said there is a strong case to be made that interest rates should rise in June. Higher rates boost the appeal of assets with better yield prospects such as bonds and equities, while cutting the allure of gold, which generally offers returns only through price gains.
The metal fell 0.1 percent in the first quarter, a third straight slide. A statement from the U.S. central bank that showed policy makers cut their outlook for borrowing costs at the end of 2015 spurred a seven-session rally for gold futures through March 26. The gains fizzled after Fed Chair Janet Yellen the next day reiterated an outlook for tightening this year. The dollar climbed for a ninth consecutive month against a basket of 10 peers, curbing gold’s appeal as an alternative.
Gold futures for June delivery fell $2.10 to settle at $1,183.20 an ounce at 1:49 p.m. on the Comex in New York, posting a 2.5 percent drop for March.
Assets in exchange-traded products backed by the metal fell by 56.6 metric tons in March to 1,620.15 tons as of Monday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The monthly drop was on pace to be the largest since December 2013.
Silver futures for May delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $16.598 an ounce. This quarter, the metal climbed 6.4 percent, the most since June.
Platinum futures for July delivery added 2.3 percent to $1,143.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices still posted a third straight quarterly loss, the longest streak since 2011. Palladium futures for June delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $735.30 on Tuesday.