CHICAGO, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled with minor loss on Tuesday, as traders await economic data this week for clues to the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan on reducing its stimulus program.
The most active gold contract for February delivery fell 1.1 dollars, or 0.09 percent, to settle at 1,220.8 dollars per ounce. Gold futures price, for a second day in a row, settled at their lowest since July 5, statistics show.
According to market analysts, with the U.S. economy and U.S. equity markets slowly recovering, investors are seeing less of a need for hard assets such as gold. In addition, speculation that the Fed will start slowing the pace of monetary stimulus soon on signs of an improving U.S. economy also pressured gold on the day.
U.S. manufacturing grew at the fastest pace in more than two years last month, a report from the Institute of Supply Management showed Monday. American payrolls probably increased by 181,000 in November, according to a Bloomberg survey ahead of the Labor Department report scheduled for release on Dec. 6.
Gold futures have already lost around 27 percent year to date, with gold losing its appeal as an investment hedge as equities rallied. The S&P 500 is up around 25 percent year to date.
Silver for March delivery fell 22.4 cents, or 1.16 percent, to close at 19.065 dollars per ounce.