Easing of concerns regarding Iran's uranium enrichment pressured gold and other precious metals futures in early U.S. trading Monday.

At 9:08 a.m. EDT, December gold was down $16.30 to $601 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It went as low as $599, its weakest level since June 29.

Futures prices opened sharply lower in the United States after spot metal plunged overnight. Analysts with TheBullionDesk.com cited productive negotiations between Iranian and European officials over Iran's uranium enrichment program, as well as the ongoing correction lower in oil. In New York, October crude has fallen as far as $65.11 a barrel and Monday was below $66 for the first time since late March.

Iran has told a senior European negotiator that the country is ready to consider complying _ at least temporarily, with a U.N. Security Council demand that it freeze uranium enrichment.

George Gero, vice president with RBC Capital Markets Global Futures, said that there is a lessening energy war premium behind the move lower in gold.

Commerzbank analyst Paul McLeod and Xpresstrade analyst Mike Zarembski both cited continued momentum-based selling after metals fell late last week.

Some of the short spec-investor types got caught on the wrong side and were exiting (during a recent run-up in prices), McLeod said. Now, we have momentum players who are going to be shorting the market as they get their signals.

Speculators appear to be the main driving force in the market at the moment, he continued.

You're seeing it across all commodities, platinum, palladium, silver, oil, he said. Everything is headed down.

At 9:12 a.m. EDT, New York December silver was down 44.5 cents to $11.85 an ounce. The Chicago Board of Trade silver contract was down 42.7 cents to $11.865 an ounce.

In New York, October platinum was down $25.50 to $1,204 an ounce and December palladium was down $14.60 to $319 an ounce.