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Gold sold as China buyers go cold

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 01:33

The price of gold drops to its lowest level in more than five years on growing expectations that the U.S. will raise interest rates later this year. As Ciara Lee reports, the sell-off was led by top consumer China.

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It's been a safe haven for investors through turbulent times. But gold prices fell 4 percent on Monday to their lowest levels in more than five years. And shares in some of the world's top gold miners were hit hard. It comes after sellers in top consumer China offloaded the metal. Investors have been finding less and less reason to hold gold as an insurance against risk. The dollar is strengthening ahead of what is expected to be the first increase in U.S. interest rates for nearly a decade. Spot gold fell to 45.55 dollars on opening - its weakest since March 2010 - before regaining some ground. Reuters Breakingviews's Swaha Pattanaik says those prices could continue to fall. (SOUNDBITE) SWAHA PATTANAIK, COLUMNIST REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: "Gold prices look set to go down further. There's a lot of reasons to be selling and not very many to be buying unfortunately. So we have the first Fed rise looming into view, we also have a stronger dollar. Both of those are not very good for the gold price. Not much Chinese demand, or at least not as much as was expected either and that's proving a bit of a disappointment too." Spot platinum also on the slide - it fell for the fifth straight session, down 5 percent to a fresh 6-1/2-year low. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen confirmed last week that the central bank would likely raise interest rates this year if the U.S. economy expands as expected. China's announced on Friday that its gold reserves were up 57 percent the end of June from the last time it adjusted its reserve figures more than six years ago.

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Gold sold as China buyers go cold

Monday, July 20, 2015 - 01:33