Gold fell on Monday to its lowest price in more than three months, dragged below technical support as upbeat risk sentiment kept U.S. stock indexes close to record levels, while investors awaited news on the U.S.-China trade.
"Overall, the outlook for (wider markets) seems more positive," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO, adding the immediate trigger for gold's decline was technical, since it failed to hold above $1,460.
"Before the trade-driven August rally, we were in a $1,380-$1,440 range so we could trade down somewhere into that level."
U.S. stocks bounced off lows on Monday and hovered near record levels hit the previous week. But investors remained cautious about U.S.-China trade negotiations after U.S. President Donald Trump said Beijing wanted a deal more than he did.
Trump also said that there had been incorrect reporting about Washington's willingness to lift tariffs. Wall Street's bounce "took everything out of gold that it had going today," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
Gold slumped 3.6% last week for its biggest weekly decline in three years on upbeat equities and optimism surrounding the U.S.-China trade deal.
"Gold is waiting for the next big fundamental development," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said. He said a stock market decline could boost bullion, as could a worsening of unrest in Hong Kong, where protesters threw petrol bombs at police after a weekend of clashes across the Chinese-ruled territory.
"If that situation (in Hong Kong) deteriorates further, that could give gold a safe-haven lift," Kitco's Wyckoff added.
Among other precious metals, palladium dropped 2.4% to $1,700.45 per ounce, having touched lowest since Oct. 14 earlier.
"It's more of a short term, though possibly sharp, correction like we had in the beginning of August before it embarked on a $400-30% rally. The market has been and remains quite long so, the weakest hands will always liquidate on price retreats," BMO's Wong said.
Platinum slipped 0.9%, to $878.78 per ounce, after touching its lowest since Oct. 4, while silver rose 0.2% to $16.83 after slipping to its lowest in mid-August earlier in the day.