Gold prices head lower for a second straight session

Gold futures edged lower Monday, extending their losses from the previous session after posting a third straight weekly advance, as the U.S. dollar strengthened against most of its currency rivals to start the week.

December gold GCZ8, -0.43% fell $3.90, or 0.3%, to $1,224.80 an ounce after losing about 0.1% on Friday. Last week, however, prices tallied a gain of roughly 0.6%.

In Monday dealings, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.34% added 0.3% to 95.98, trading about 0.9% higher month to date in the wake of interest-rate hikes at the Federal Reserve, another of which is expected before the year is out. Currency traders watched risk tied to Italy’s budget, Brexit and leadership in the U.K.

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“The precious metals markets remain mired in a sideways consolidation and that might be expected to continue this week as the trade waits out the ultimate direction of the dollar,” analysts at Zaner Precious Metals wrote in a note Monday. “There does seem to be a slightly negative global commodity demand vibe despite the Chinese promise of stimulus perhaps because that is thought to be a sign that the Chinese are content to battle on with the U.S.”

“However, recent hawkish commentary from Fed officials continues to be a source of lingering pressure on gold and silver prices, as that has lent the dollar support from its mid-October lows,” they said. “But the dollar just doesn’t show sustainable potential in our opinion.”

Meanwhile, December silver SIZ8, -0.68% was down 9 cents, or 0.6%, at $14.56 an ounce following a gain of about 0.1% last week.

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