(Bloomberg News) Gold futures fell to a six-week low as the dollar's advance curbed demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Palladium tumbled the most since March.
The greenback rose for the fourth straight session, the longest rally in five months. The euro dropped as Spain's economy contracted for the fifth straight quarter and French industrial confidence fell to the lowest in more than three years. Gold has declined 4.1 percent this month.
"Spain continues to drive the direction of the market, and people are moving toward the dollar and staying away from riskier assets," Fain Shaffer, the president of Infinity Trading Corp. in Medford, Oregon, said in a telephone interview.
Gold futures for December delivery fell 1 percent to settle at $1,709.40 an ounce at 1:48 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price touched $1,705.10, the lowest for a most- active contract since Sept. 7.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for December delivery plunged 4.6 percent to $593.85 an ounce, the biggest drop since March 22. Earlier, the metal touched $590.40, the lowest since Aug. 17.
Platinum futures for January delivery fell 2.3 percent to $1,575.60 an ounce. The price dropped as low as $1,573.70, the cheapest since Sept. 7.
Silver futures for December delivery slid 1.4 percent to $31.793 an ounce on the Comex. The price touched $31.65, the lowest since Sept. 4.
In 2012, silver has climbed 14 percent. Platinum has gained 12 percent, and gold has advanced 9.1 percent. Palladium has dropped 9.5 percent.
Today, the Standard & Poor's GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials, which includes gold and silver, erased this year's gain.