Gold futures declined for the fourth time in five sessions after a rise in the dollar cut demand for the metal as an alternative investment.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed to a three-week high as signs of a slowdown in China highlighted the diverging fortunes of the world’s two biggest economies, enhancing the appeal of the U.S. currency.

Gold has posted two straight monthly declines after the greenback rose to the highest since at least 2004 against a basket of 10 currencies and concern mounted on prospects for higher U.S. borrowing costs. Speculation that global central banks will push for more economic stimulus helped limit declines in bullion on Monday.

On the Comex, gold futures for June delivery slid 0.4 percent to settle at $1,199.30 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. in New York.

Fed policy makers were split at last month’s meeting on when to begin raising rates. Rising rates curb gold’s appeal because the metal generally only offers returns through price gains, prompting investors to favor assets with better yield prospects such as equities and bonds.

Silver futures for May delivery slid 0.6 percent to $16.291 an ounce on the Comex. The metal has posted two straight weekly declines.

Source: Bloomberg