Gold futures fell to a two-week low as the dollar strengthened amid speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates this year.

The greenback climbed to a one-month high against a basket of 10 currencies, cutting demand for gold as an alternative investment. Accelerating inflation and jobs growth mean the “time is near” for a rate increase, Fed Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said Monday.

Gold swung between year-to-date gains and losses more than 10 times in 2015, gyrating as traders tried to gauge when policy makers are likely to raise borrowing costs. Higher rates drive investors to favor assets that pay interest, including new bonds, curbing the appeal of gold, which generally offers returns only through price gains.

Gold futures for August delivery declined 1.4 percent to settle at $1,187.80 an ounce at 1:46 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal touched $1,185.60, the lowest for a most-active contract since May 12. Trading on all monthly contracts doubled compared with the 100-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The price dropped 1.7 percent last week. Inflation rose more than forecast in April, government figures showed Friday, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the same day it would be “appropriate” to raise rates this year if the economy improves.

Source : Bloomberg