Gold futures have fallen, as pressure from a stronger US dollar dampens investor interest in the dollar-denominated metal.

The most actively traded contract, for December delivery, on Friday settled $US10.50, or 0.8 per cent, lower at $US1,313.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold prices retreated for much of the day as the US dollar rallied against the euro and other major currencies. As the US dollar strengthens, dollar-denominated gold futures become more expensive to investors who use other currencies.

The greenback has continued to draw strength from the Federal Reserve's upbeat economic outlook, which prompted some investors to worry the central bank may still reduce its stimulus efforts before year end.

Meanwhile, expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) will cut benchmark interest rates at its coming policy meeting in December pressured the euro lower. Investors anticipate that the ECB will be forced to loosen policy in order to ward off the threat of deflation.

"Both factors resulted in a considerably firmer US dollar, which in turn weighed on precious metal prices," analysts at Commerzbank said in a note to clients.

Gold coin buyers more than tripled their purchases from the US Mint in October from the prior month, monthly data from the agency show.

The Mint sold 48,500 ounces of the American Eagle gold coins last month, up from 13,000 ounces in September. This was the second straight increase in monthly purchases and comes as coin sales continue to recover from August's low of 11,500, the lowest gold-coin sales figure from the Mint since December 2007.

The Mint sells gold coins to dealers, who in turn make them available to the public. Market participants consider the Mint data as an indicator of retail investors' demand for gold.

Gold futures fell 0.3 per cent in October to end the month at $US1,323.70 a troy ounce on the Comex. Still, gold prices have firmed as the market continues to recover from a three-year low hit in late June.

Settlements (ranges include open-outcry and electronic trading):

London PM Gold Fix: $1,306.75; previous PM $1,324.00

Dec gold $1,313.20, down $10.50; Range $1,305.60-$1,327.30

Dec silver $21.837, down 0.30 cent; Range $21.705-$21.995

Jan platinum $1,451.90, up $3.50; Range $1,445.80-$1,458.90

Dec palladium $738.25, up $1.45; Range $732.30-$742.00

 

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