Gold drops $30 as investor appetite for riskier assets grows

Source: MarketWatch

Gold futures dropped sharply on Monday on signs of growing appetite for riskier assets as Japanese stocks surged 7%.

April gold GCJ6, -3.41%  fell $30, or 2.4%, to $1,209.40 an ounce. On Friday, gold finished down $8.40, or 0.7%, at $1,239.40 an ounce, but logged its best weekly gain since Dec. 12, 2008, rising 7.1%, according to FactSet data.

Last week marked a period of heavy buying for the precious metal, notably on Thursday as equity markets plunged and expectations grew that the Federal Reserve would delay another hike in interest rates. Wall Street stocks snapped a five-day losing streak on Friday and posted the biggest daily gain for February so far, though all three major indexes lost ground for the week.

U.S. stock markets will be closed for the President’s Day holiday on Monday.

Chinese stocks returned to action on Monday after a week-long break for the Lunar New Year holiday, and the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +3.17%  fell 0.6%. But the Nikkei 225 index NIK, +0.20%  soared 7.2%, which came as the dollarUSDJPY, -0.01%  regained some footing against the Japanese yen.

Meanwhile, March silver SIH6, -3.64%  futures fell 48 cents, or 3%, to $15.30 an ounce. Last week, silver climbed nearly 6.9%. High-grade copper futuresHGH6, +2.17% for March delivery added 4 cents, or 1.7%, to $2.064 a pound, after losing 3.5% last week.

April platinum PLJ6, -2.59%  fell $19.10, or 2%, to $938.90 an ounce, though closed out last week with a 6% gain. March palladium PAH6, -2.70%  fell $7.25, or 1.4%, to $519.75 an ounce after closing last week up 5.7%.

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