CHICAGO, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell slightly Monday, as traders took profits and some uncertainty lingered about this week's U.S. Federal Reserve Bank meeting.
The most active gold contract for December delivery fell 8.7 U. S. dollars, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 1,731.8 dollars per ounce.
After settling at its highest level since February in the previous session, gold reversed course Monday and ended lower, though still well above the key 1,700 dollars an ounce trading level. The precious metal rose a total of 3.1 percent last week, and investors took advantage of the sharply higher prices Monday to engage in some profit taking.
The gold trade has recently been dominated by ideas that central bankers in both the U.S. and Europe could implement quantitative easing policies to combat the lagging economy. Economic stimulus measures support gold, as the precious metal traditionally rises on fears of inflation.
Investors therefore cheered an announcement last week from the European Central Bank reporting a new bond buying plan for Europe, and traders hope that the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank could announce similar measures when it meets for a policy meeting on Wednesday.
Many traders took last Friday's below-expectations U.S. jobs report as a sign that the Fed would move to ease, although the market seemed a bit more uncertain Monday. The Fed is scheduled to release a statement Thursday, and the gold trade could waver a bit in the lead up to the Fed decision.
Silver for December delivery fell 5.7 cents, or 0.17 percent, to close at 33.633 dollars per ounce.