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Gold declined in New York for the third time in four days on signs of a strengthening U.S. job market and a drop in holdings by exchange-traded fund investors.
Applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly dropped last week to the lowest since April 2008, the government reported today, boosting the dollar and reducing demand for gold as an alternative asset. Holdings in bullion-backed ETFs fell for a fifth day to the lowest level since Nov. 16, as investors sold the metal to cover losses in other markets, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Gold futures for February delivery fell to $1,599.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Before today, the metal was up 14 percent this year. Prices dropped 6.9 percent last week after the Federal Reserve refrained from taking new action to boost economic growth.
Bullion-backed ETF holdings, which reached an all-time high of 2,360.81 metric tons on Dec. 14, fell to 2,329.921 tons yesterday.
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