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 Gold extended losses to a fourth day and was headed for its worst quarter in a year on a looming US rate hike.     

Spot gold fell 0.2 per cent to $1,124.90. With a drop of 4 per cent, the yellow metal was headed for its worst quarter in a year, hurt by expectations that the Federal Reserve would raise US rates this year for the first time in nearly a decade and reduce demand for non-interest-paying bullion.    

Traders will be eyeing a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen later on Wednesday and a private employment report for clues about the economy and timing of a rate hike.     

The metal failed to see safe-haven bids despite a drop Asian stocks to three-year lows on Tuesday and concerns over the Chinese economy.    

Gold could see more losses this week as top consumer China heads for a week-long holiday from Thursday, removing a key support for prices during Asian trading hours.

Platinum slid for an eighth session out of nine on Wednesday to trade near its lowest since December 2008, and was headed for its biggest quarterly slump in seven years on fears of a demand fallout from the Volkswagen emissions scandal.     

Platinum has been hit after revelations that Volkswagen AG falsified US vehicle emission tests, which some believe could affect demand for diesel cars. Platinum is widely used in auto catalysts, particularly for diesel engines.      

The metal's 15 per cent loss this quarter is its fifth straight quarterly drop and its worst three-month period since the third quarter of 2008. It is down 9 per cent for the month, its biggest monthly drop since May 2012.    

Spot platinum eased 0.2 per cent to $912 an ounce by 0335 GMT (7.35am UAE time), not too far from a 6-1/2-year low of $894 reached in the previous session.    

"There is some bargain hunting for platinum but it is not very sustained," said a trader in Tokyo, adding that investment demand for platinum has seen a pick up in recent days with the price slump.     "Sentiment is very bearish and I think we could break below $900 again."    

Even before the Volkswagen scandal broke last week, the platinum market had been suffering from an increase in supplies following the end of last year's five-month strike among platinum miners in major producer South Africa, and a weakness in Chinese jewellery demand.    

Palladium, on the other hand, has gained as investors believe demand for gasoline cars could increase. With a 10 per cent jump, the metal was poised to log its best month since July 2013, though it was still headed for a quarterly loss.