Gold futures retreated modestly yesterday, pulling back from a psychologically significant $1,300 mark, after bullion rose sharply to end last week.
April gold GCJ9, -0,43 percent shed $4,70, or 0,4 percent, at $1 294,60 an ounce, after bullion rose 1 percent on Friday and briefly exceeded $1 301 intraday, capping a volatile week that saw the most-active contract finish little changed.
May silver SIK9, -0,45 percent meanwhile, fell 5 cents, or 0,4 percent, to $15 300 an ounce, after producing a 0,6 percent weekly climb on Friday.
Commodity strategists say gold may be retreating as investors shrink flows into gold exchange-traded funds, like the SPDR Gold Shares GLD, -0.49 percent.
Bullion's gains on Friday followed an employment report that showed the weakest job creation in the US in 17 months, with only 20 000 new jobs added to February payrolls.
Bloomberg News reported that investors dumped gold ahead of the jobs report, resulting in bullish hedge fund bets on bullion being slashed by 54 percent to 47 872 futures and options contracts in the week ended March 5, citing Commodity Futures Trading Commission data published Friday.
Meanwhile, bets that gold's price would decline jumped the most since July.
"At 7 tons, they were even fairly high, meaning that outflows since the beginning of the month have totalled 27,5 tons," wrote commodity analysts at Commerzbank in a Monday research report.
"Not much remains of the strong inflows seen in January. The slide in the gold price that began in mid-February and continued into March was largely attributable to speculative financial investors," the analysts wrote.
Meanwhile, on the data front for Friday, US retail sales rose by 0,2 percent in January, while the December reading of -1,2 percent was revised to -1,6 percent.
January figures excluding cars and excluding cars and gas, rose 0,9 percent and 1,2 percent, respectively.-- marketwatch.com