Gold posted a fourth straight monthly decline, the longest stretch of losses since 2013, as more signs of U.S. economic strength bolster the case to raise interest rates and dollar gains make bullion pricier in other currencies.
With holdings in exchange-traded funds shrinking, investors have been building bets on further price declines. As of last week, money managers held the biggest net-short position in futures and options in records going back to 2006. A measure of gold volatility is near the lowest since January.
The precious metal fell out of favor after Federal Reserve policy makers boosted rates twice this year. The Fed is expected to affirm plans for two more hikes at a meeting this week.
Traders picked the dollar over the non-interest-bearing metal this year as the haven of choice as geopolitical turmoil and a trade dispute between the U.S. and other global powers roiled markets.
“Gold is constantly being liquidated,” said Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures. “When rates rise, people go after higher-yielding assets and sell metals, which give no rate or return.”
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