Precious-metals futures prices retreated on Monday, with platinum falling the limit allowed for daily trading.
Gold declined more than $8 an ounce before bargain hunters trimmed the losses near the close. Platinum was down the $25-an-ounce limit, while the October contract, which has no limit, was off $35.50.
On some other markets, cotton was the limit higher, grains and soybeans advanced and interest rate futures moved lower.
“Initially, the weaker stock market and lower dollar had looked favorable for gold,” said John Norris, chief precious-metals trader in New York with Citibank. However, when gold was unable to sustain the early gains, traders reasoned the market was basically weak and went on a selling spree, he said.
Platinum futures have been weakened by the growing perception that South Africa will not be driven into retaliating against any economic sanctions against its apartheid policy.
This was in the background Monday, when last-minute liquidation of the spot contract pulled all deliveries lower, Norris said. With the October contract expiring soon, traders decided to liquidate rather than take deliveries on long positions, he said.