NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Spot gold prices settled lower on the first regular trading day of the new year as investors' risk appetite got a boost from promising economic news and unease over Chinese inflationary pressures receded.

Stocks were grounded in positive territory Monday afternoon as The Institute for Supply Management said that manufacturing activity continued to heat up in December and the Commerce Department reported an uptick in construction spending in November. Furthermore, over the weekend, China released data that pointed to a drop in manufacturing activity for the first time in five months.

New York spot gold prices fell $5.20, or 0.4%, to $1,416.40, according to Kitco's spot price index.

Spot silver prices lost 31 cents, or 1%, to $30.60. Most Recent Quotes from

Spot platinum prices rose by $2, or 0.1%, to $1,771 an ounce, while its sister metal lost steam. Most Recent Quotes from

New York spot palladium prices fell $3, or 0.4%, to $797 an ounce.

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Precious metal mining stocks -- which offer another form of exposure to the precious metals -- were trading in mixed territory.

Goldcorp ( GG) was falling 2.1% to $45.01 and Stillwater Mining ( SWC) was rising 2.1% to $21.80. Silvercorp Metals ( SVM - Get Report) was up 1.5% to $13.02, while Kinross Gold ( KGC - Get Report) was down 1.5% to $18.68.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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