London - Gold traded near a two-week low in London as a strengthened dollar curbed demand for an alternative investment.
Platinum slipped as a South African labour union began a strike at Northam Platinum Ltd.
Gold reached $1,306 an ounce on November 1, the lowest since October 17.
The Bloomberg US Dollar Index, a measure against 10 currencies, was little changed after reaching the highest since September 18.
Platinum declined 2.1 percent since reaching a seven-week high on October 30.
Gold is set for the first annual drop in 13 years as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value.
The Federal Reserve last week maintained its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, while noting that there are signs of “underlying strength” in the economy.
Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said November 1 an improving labour market could warrant less debt buying.
“Gold has been under pressure because of the strength in the dollar,” Afshin Nabavi, a senior vice president at bullion refiner MKS (Switzerland) SA in Geneva, said by phone.
“Physical demand continues to be lacklustre.”
Gold for immediate delivery lost 0.1 percent to $1,315.01 by 9:48 a.m. in London.
A decline today, a fifth successive drop, would be the longest losing run since August 1.
Bullion for December delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,314.20 on the Comex in New York.
Futures trading volume was 48 percent below average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products dropped 6.5 metric tons on November 1 to 1,875.3 tons, the lowest since April 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Silver for immediate delivery slipped 0.8 percent to $21.712 an ounce in London, and earlier reached $21.6158, the lowest since October 17.
Palladium was little changed at $741 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.3 percent to $1,449.80 an ounce.
South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers began a strike yesterday over wages at Northam Platinum as the company said it has proposed a meeting between the sides tomorrow.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union also failed to reach an agreement over wages with Lonmin Plc, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s three largest platinum producers.
A strike “could happen jointly” with other platinum companies, Jimmy Gama, AMCU’s treasurer and a spokesman, said October 30.
Platinum inventories held at factories or in ETPs are equal to about 1,000 days of usage, Standard Bank Group Ltd. said last month.
Miners anticipating shortages may have about one month’s worth of stockpiles, the bank said in an October 31 report.
“There is sufficient above-ground inventory in the market to alleviate any short-term supply disruptions,” Derek Engelbrecht, a marketing executive at Impala in Johannesburg, said today by e-mail.
“Anxiety is not what it would have been three to four years ago.” - Bloomberg News