NEW YORK (
were dropping Tuesday as interest rate uncertainty tempered investment demand.
Gold for April delivery was slipping $9.10 to $1,104 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold has traded as high as $1,121.70 and as low as $1,099.60. The
was rising 0.41% to $80.84.
Gold prices are taking their cue from Washington this week.
is scheduled to testify before Congress Wednesday and Thursday over monetary policy. After
surprise discount rate hike last Thursday, many investors are worried that key interest rates will be raised sooner than expected. Gold is typically bought as a hedge against inflation, and an end to "free money" will put pressure on prices.
Also weighing on gold prices was a weaker-than-expected consumer confidence report. The index dropped to 46 in February, the lowest reading in 10 months, which curbed investors' risk appetite for commodities.
found some support on Monday after China re-entered the market. China was on hiatus last week for its Lunar New Year celebrations, and the return of investors helped gold hit a one-month high. But sustained upside was short lived and prices are currently trading sideways.
"I think we are still in a consolidation period right now," says David Morgan, founder of Silver-Investor.com. "I would not get long this market until we're in the $1,180 range or higher."
were slipping 35 cents to $15.86 while copper was down 8 cents to $3.22. Platinum and palladium were falling to $1,512 and $434, respectively.
Mining stocks, a more leveraged way to
, were stumbling.
was down 3.34% to $37.09, while
was falling 3.12% to $46.24. Other large-cap miners
were slipping to $17.69 and $36.49, respectively.
were down 4.87% to $11.13 after the company lowered third-quarter production guidance reportedly due to safety concerns at the Kloof gold mine.
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold
was lower by 3.36% to $73.74.
Shares of the popular physically backed ETF,
SPDR Gold Shares
, were down slightly to $108.02.
Written by Alix Steel in New York
Alix joined TheStreet.com TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.