Gold futures slipped in New York as U.S. equities traded near record highs, paring demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

The Standard & Poors 500 Index of equities advanced to a record yesterday. U.S. stocks fluctuated today, as reports showed the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest since early September and orders for U.S. business equipment unexpectedly fell in October.

Gold, which has fallen 9.4 percent since the end of June amid a surging stock market and stronger dollar, traded little changed most of the day. The economic reports may help ease concern that the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates, said David Meger, the director of metals trading at Vision Financial Markets.

Gold futures for February delivery declined less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1,197.50 an ounce at 1:48 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the second decline in three days.

Source: Bloomberg