Precious metals stepped lower Thursday as the U.S. dollar showed some strength and oil prices tumbled below $36 a barrel for the first time since the middle of 2004. New York silver, gold and platinum futures fell 2.6 percent, 0.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.
January crude-oil hit a record four-year low, falling $3.84, or 9.6 percent, to close to $36.22 a barrel. It had an intraday low of $35.98. Concerns over a weakened global economy and contracting demand for oil were again the talking points of the day.
The average price for unleaded gasoline rose three-tenths of a penny to $1.67 a gallon, according to AAA.
March silver declined 30 cents to close at $11.12 an ounce.
January platinum dropped $1.30 to end at $863.90 an ounce.
Gold for February fell $7.90 to settle at $860.60 an ounce.
"The nearly two week-old rally in gold prices reversed course on Thursday as the US dollar took a significant forward step against the European common currency, and as oil prices were macerated to near $38 per barrel," said senior analyst Jon Nadler at Kitco Bullion Dealers.
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. When prices are falling and economic activities are shrinking, gold prices tend to move lower.
In the bullion coin news front, the one ounce proof American Eagle gold coin sold out at the United States Mint.