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Gold suffers worst run since October as slide below US$1,200 looms

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Gold is sliding toward US$1,200 an ounce in its longest losing run since October as positive US economic figures reinforce expectations that yields on other investments will rise this year.

[SINGAPORE] Gold is sliding toward US$1,200 an ounce in its longest losing run since October as positive US economic figures reinforce expectations that yields on other investments will rise this year.

Bullion for immediate delivery fell 0.5 per cent to US$1,202.78 an ounce by 2:08pm in New York after touching the lowest level since Feb 1, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. It slid for a fourth day as yields on 10-year Treasuries extended gains. Gold futures posted an eight straight loss in the longest slump since July 2015.

The precious metal has been hit by Federal Reserve officials including Chair Janet Yellen talking up the prospect of higher rates this month. Better-than-expected US private jobs data this week also boosted the dollar before official payrolls figures on Friday. A stronger US dollar makes gold costlier for those with other currencies.

"If the data continues to be as good as it was, or improves, we could see the Fed move toward further hawkishness," said Brad Yates, head of trading for Elemetal, one of the biggest US gold refiners.

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Market voices on:

"That could hurt gold."

After the Fed raised rates once in 2015 and again in 2016, the pace may quicken this year.

The so-called dot plot illustrating policy makers' projections suggests three increases this year. While economists see US non-farm payrolls declining, possibly supporting gold, their projections have underestimated employment growth in February for five years in a row.

In other precious metals: Silver futures fell on the Comex, while platinum and palladium slid on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The World Platinum Investment Council raised its 2017 platinum supply deficit to 120,000 ounces from 100,000 ounces on a resilient car market. The metal is used in auto-catalysts that help remove pollutants from vehicle exhaust.

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