Precious metals fell on Tuesday as a slew of data suggested a better global economic environment, reducing investors' need to lock in their money in safer but less profitable avenues like metals while technical analysts see further room southward for the commodities.
Gold traded at its near 3-month low while silver dropped to a new 2-month low. Platinum and palladium hit their lowest in three and two weeks respectively.
Some well-known bullion analysts point out that February and March always happen to be bad months in terms of returns from gold since 1980.
Gold for spot delivery fell as low as $1,323 per ounce, its lowest since October 28, 2010 and from its previous close of $1,337.75. At its weakest of Tuesday, the metal was down 1.12 percent on the day and 6.9 percent weaker than end-December level.
Silver dropped to $26.56 from Monday's close of $27.01 an ounce, its lowest since November 29, at which level the metal was 13.9 percent down from December 31. Platinum dropped by more than 2 percent on the day to $1,775 per ounce level while palladium hit a low of $777.83, down 3.8 percent from Monday.
The greenback extended the 2-month low of 1.3686 it hit against the euro in the previous session by a few pips on Tuesday but the pair mostly traded sideways through the day. The index measuring dollar's performance versus six major currencies was higher helped by a better-than-expected consumer confidence index for December.
The dollar index moved in a range of 77.82-78.41 on Tuesday compared with Monday's close of 78.05.
Gold and silver were also supported technically with both metals hovering around 100-150 day moving averages, a picture chartists have not seen since mid-2010.
At 6:40 pm GMT, February delivery Comex gold was at $1,332.3 per ounce from its previous close of $1,344.5. Silver was at $26.805, down from Monday's $27.32.
December delivery gold futures on Tokyo's TOCOM exchange was at 3,535 yen per gram and silver of same maturity was at 71.2 yen per gram. The prices were at 3,613 yen and 74.4 yen at close on Monday.