Gold sinks as traders unwind option contracts

The Associated Press

Gold prices are slipping to start the week, pressured lower by traders who made bets the precious metal would fall.

Gold for February delivery fell $3.70 to settle Monday at $1,652.90 an ounce. Gold prices have dropped 1.3 percent so far this year.

Options on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex exchange expire Monday. Many of the traders who previously placed bets that gold would fall through options contracts known as "puts" are closing out those bets and taking their winnings off the table. That can knock prices lower.

With the exception of copper, other metals were also lower. Silver for March delivery fell 42.6 cents to $30.78.

Platinum for April delivery fell $32.70 to $1,662.20. Palladium for March delivery lost 45 cents to $740.55 an ounce.

Grains were mixed.