Hedge funds and money managers slashed their net long positions in COMEX gold to a near 11-month low and trimmed bullish bets in silver contracts in the week to Dec. 27.
A strong start to 2016 meant gold still managed to end last year with its first annual gain since 2012, of 8.5 percent.
Indications from the Federal Reserve that it would press ahead with further interest rate hikes this year after only their second rise in a decade last month are buoying the U.S. currency, and therefore pressuring gold.
"Further to the Fed's interest rate hike in December, along with a bullish view of the U.S. economy and the prospects for three more interest rate hikes in 2017, gold will remain weak," Sun Global Investments said in a note on Tuesday.
Silver was up 2.7 percent at $16.42 at ounce, while platinum was 4.35 percent higher at $945.10 and palladium was up 4.02 percent at $710.75.
Palladium was the best performing precious metal last year, rising 20 percent, its biggest annual gain in six years. Platinum lagged gains in the wider complex, however, ending 2016 up just 1 percent.