Gold futures settled with a loss on Tuesday as investors looked toward upcoming U.S. labor market data and comments from Federal Reserve officials for clues on whether the central bank will decide to lift interest rates when it meets later this month.

Gold for February delivery on Comex fell $1.80, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,063.50 an ounce after posting gains in the previous session, while March silver finished less than half a cent lower at $14.083 an ounce.

Gold prices on Monday climbed 0.9%, with gains fueled by “a short-covering rally thanks to some trader positioning and a modest pullback in the dollar index ahead of a slew of key” economic releases and comments from Federal Reserve officials, said Tyler Richey, co-editor of The 7:00’s Report.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will speak at separate events Wednesday and Thursday and the monthly U.S. jobs report is due Friday. The employment data are expected to further confirm that the Fed is on track to deliver its first interest-rate hike in nearly a decade when it meets later this month.

But in a speech Tuesday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he’s leaning against a rate-increase decision later this month.

Also Tuesday, U.S. manufacturing data was downbeat, with the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index falling in November to its lowest level since 2009. Still, Steve Murphy, U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said the data “won’t prevent the Fed from raising interest rates” at the mid-December meeting.

The European Central Bank, meanwhile, is expected to deliver further monetary easing on Thursday, which could weaken the euro and boost the dollar But analysts are questioning whether the ECB’s action have already been discounted by the market, potentially leaving little more room for further near-term euro weakness.

In other metals trade, March copper rose 2.3 cents, or 1.1%, to $2.072 a pound after several Chinese producers said they would cut copper output next year. Read: Chinese copper smelters to cut 2016 output

January platinum advanced $2.50, or 0.3%, to $835.40 an ounce, while March palladium slipped lower by $4, or 0.7%, to $539.20 an ounce.

Source : Market Watch