Gold futures, which reached a six-month low today, posted the biggest annual slump in three decades as an improving economy cut demand for wealth protection. Silver touched the lowest since July.
Bullion futures for February delivery fell 0.1% to settle at $1,202.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,181.40, the lowest since June 28.
Prices fell 28% this year. Investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value as equities rallied and an economic recovery prompted the Federal Reserve to pare its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. Silver dropped 36% in 2013 to $19.37 an ounce, the biggest annual drop since 1981, (Bloomberg News) reported.
Assets in exchange-traded products backed by gold fell 33% to the lowest since 2009 amid sales by billionaires George Soros and John Paulson.
Disposals of 867.8 metric tons in 2013 were more than the combined inflows in the prior three years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of shares climbed 29% and is set for its best year since 1997, while the International Monetary Fund signaled this month the U.S. economy will expand more than forecast.
Silver is the second-worst performer in the S&P GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities, which declined 2.2%. The MSCI All-Country World index of equities climbed 20%, while the dollar rose 3.4% against a 10-currency basket. The Bloomberg Treasury Bond Index fell 3.2%.