Updated from 10:09 a.m. EDT with settlement prices



) --

Gold prices traded lower Friday as profit-taking drove action on the final day of the calendar third quarter.

Gold for December delivery settled down $6.60 to $1,773.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The

gold price traded as high as $1,785.90 and as low as $1,769.50 an ounce, while the spot price was falling $6.20, according to Kitco's gold index.

Gold also saw a bit of profit-taking as money managers and others sold out of their positions on Friday in order to post realized gains.

Monday will mark first-notice day, in which investors with an October gold futures position must make or take delivery, or put up full money, which would lead to liquidation and roll over to new positions, said George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Wealth Management.

"Of course, the rest is let's wait and see what happens with Spain," said Gero.

Silver prices for December delivery sank 9 cents to $34.58 an ounce, while the

U.S. dollar index was gaining 0.52% to $79.96.

Spain's bank stress tests showed an as expected capital shortfall of €59.3 billion.

Gold prices jumped Thursday on reports that China would be implementing more stimulus and as Spain presented its 2013 budget, which proposed sharp spending cuts.

Combined with the

Federal Reserve's

so-called QE3 mortgage-backed securities buying program, action in China and Europe gave hope to gold investors who saw stimulus coming from three continents.

Gero said gold lost 9,000 in open interest in the end of the third quarter.

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower on Friday. Shares of

NovaGold Resources

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fell 1.4%, while shares of



decreased 1.2%.

Among other mining stocks,

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Kinross Gold Corporation Report

was up 0.69%, and

Barrick Gold


shed 0.24%

Gold ETF

SPDR Gold Trust

(GLD) - Get SPDR Gold Trust Report

was off 0.26%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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