Gold Prices Slide as Terrible 2013 Nears Finish

Updated from 11 a.m. ET with settlement prices

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices slumped Monday as investors sold the yellow metal ahead of the end of the quarter and 2013.

Gold for February delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $10.20 to settle at $1,203.80 an ounce. The gold price was as high as $1,216.10 and as low as $1,200.20 an ounce, while the spot price was down $10.58, or 0.87%.

"Last minute end of year sellers appeared in gold, citing currencies, [and] interest rates due to recovering economics as headwinds," George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note.

The spot price of gold has fallen more than 27% in 2013, a year that witnessed a well-documented crash in mid-April. The price continued to lose value through December, when the Federal Reserve announced it would scale back its economic stimulus program.

The price of gold has repeatedly tested $1,200 an ounce -- a level technical strategists consider a key point of support that, if broken, could open the door to new multi-year lows.

Silver prices for March delivery decreased 43 cents to close at $19.62 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was off 0.42% to $80.

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower on Monday, in-line with gold futures. Shares of Newmont Mining (NEM) were down 1.8% to $23.16.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.96% to $116, while iShares Gold Trust (IAU) was off 1% to $11.66. The GLD is one of the most commonly followed gold-backed ETFs and has played a role in significantly shifting so-called paper gold prices in 2013. The ETF is down more than 28% year-to-date.

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