Gold took it on the chin Monday as the yellow metal fell below $900 an ounce following three consecutive session gains. Other precious metals also declined and oil moved below $40 a barrel. New York silver, gold and platinum futures fell 2.5 percent, 2.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
March crude-oil lost 61 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close to $39.56 a barrel — the first time oil has fallen below $40 since Jan. 20.
The average price for regular unleaded gasoline increased three-tenths of a cent to $1.924 a gallon, according to AAA.
March silver lost 33 cents to close at $12.83 an ounce.
April platinum fell $8.40 to $995.90 an ounce.
Gold for February declined $21.50 to end at $829.40 an ounce.
"Pressure should come from the Senate’s likely passage of a stimulus bill that is smaller in size than the one discussed last week," Tom Pawlicki, an analyst at MF Global Ltd. in Chicago, was quoted on Bloomberg.com. "Every day that the size of the stimulus grew last week, the gold market seemed to trade higher. That could unwind this week."
"Gold maintained a supportive tone, but did succumb to profit taking," analysts at Action Economics were quoted on MarketWatch. "Momentum was limited as the market awaited the outcome of the U.S. stimulus package."
In spot trading, the London afternoon gold-fixing price — a benchmark for gold traded directly between big institutions — stood at $895.00 an ounce. London silver and platinum were at $13.01 and $981.00, respectively.
Gold, considered a hedge during times of high inflation and economic uncertainty, tends to follow oil and move opposite to the U.S. dollar. A rising greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities, like bullion, more expensive for holders of other world currencies.