Friday, February 15, 2013 Gold sharply lower, down 3% on week Gold futures settled sharply lower Friday to lose more than 3% for the week, as upbeat U.S. economic data helped dull its haven appeal, prompting prices to briefly breach the $1,600-U.S. an-ounce support level. News that George Soros’s hedge fund cut holdings on a major gold fund also added pressure as investors assessed reported comments from the Group of 20 nations, as group gathered in Moscow for a two-day meeting. Gold futures for delivery in April dropped $26, or 1.6%, to settle at $1,609.50 U.S. an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after touching a low at $1,596.70 U.S. News reports said the draft of a communiqué to be issued by G-20 finance ministers and central bankers on Saturday contains a pledge to avoid competitive devaluations but that Japan won’t be taken to task for policies that have contributed to the yen’s sharp fall versus major rivals since last fall. The news cut short a rebound by the Japanese yen, with the U.S. dollar trading at 93.41 yen, up from ¥92.85 late Thursday. The ICE dollar index climbed to 80.491, from 80.288 in North America late on Thursday. Other metals traded on Comex finished broadly lower Friday, March futures for silver fell 50 cents, or 1.7%, to end at $29.85 U.S. an ounce. That was the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since Dec. 20 and prices lost 5.1% for the week. Copper for delivery in the same month finished little changed at $3.74 U.S. a pound, with a 0.6% loss on the week. March palladium futures shed $10.90, or 1.4%, to $753.15 U.S. an ounce, up 0.2% for the week, while April platinum futures dropped $33.20, or 1.9%, to $1,677.70 U.S. an ounce, down 2.2% from a week ago. Meanwhile, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed that Soros Fund Management LLC cut its holding in SPDR Gold Trust by 55% in the three months to Dec. 31, while Bacon’s Moore Capital Management LP sold its entire stake in that fund by the end of last year. See: Soros cuts back on gold and Citi talks price 'hibernation'. Shortly after the close of gold trading on Comex, the SPDR Gold Trust was down 1.8% Friday. However, Paulson & Co., a hedge-fund run by John Paulson, continued to own 21.8 million shares in the SPDR gold fund, according to an SEC filing Thursday. He remained the fund’s largest investor during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012, according to Reuters.