Gold falls on fund outflows, stronger equities

Written by Reuters | Singapore | Updated: May 13 2014, 19:27pm hrs
Gold priceGold price has gained 7 percent so far this year, largely due to geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
Gold price slipped on Tuesday as outflows from bullion funds and stronger equities offset safe-haven demand for the metal from the Ukraine crisis.

Asian shares and the dollar rose, boosted by a strong performance on Wall Street, with Indian equities rallying on hopes an election victory for the business-friendly opposition party would spur a revival in the economy.

Spot gold had eased 0.2 percent to $1,292.30 an ounce by 0643 GMT, after gaining 0.5 percent on Monday. The metal traded in a wide range in the previous session, climbing at one point to $1,303.80 before giving back some gains.

The metal has gained 7 percent so far this year, largely due to geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Gold is seen as a safe-haven investment in times of financial and political uncertainty.

Pro-Moscow rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine called on Monday for their region to become part of Russia, a day after staging a referendum on self-rule, although Moscow stopped short of endorsing their bid for annexation.

"We caution that geopolitical boosts to gold have historically been relatively short-lived," HSBC analysts said in a note. "Gold may find it hard to stay over $1,300 without an additional increase in tensions."

Investor wariness was already showing with SPDR Gold Trust , the world's top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, recording an outflow of 2.39 tonnes to 780.46 tonnes on Monday - the first outflow since May 2.

Flows in or out of SPDR tend to impact gold prices as the fund is considered a good measure of sentiment due its size. Physical demand across top consumer Asia has at the same time been weak due to volatile prices and muted buying interest.

Among other precious metals, platinum climbed for a second session as strike violence at South African mines threatened to impact supply.

One South African miner was killed on Monday and three others died over the weekend in violence at strike-hit platinum mines, police said, threatening Lonmin's hopes to end South Africa's longest and most costly labour stoppage.