Gold falls a third day, but gains over 6% on month

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug 30)  Gold futures closed lower on Friday amid fading expectations for imminent military action against Syria, though the metal posted a more than 6% gain for the month.

Gold for December delivery /quotes/zigman/662680 GCZ3 -1.27%  lost $16.80, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,396.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices saw a third consecutive session of declines.

The most-active contract ended 30 cents higher than a week ago and gained 6.3% for the month, according to FactSet data. The metals benefitted this month from growing physical demand as well as short covering, analysts have said.

Regular trading on Comex will resume on Tuesday following Monday’s Labor Day holiday.

Silver was also hit Friday, with December futures /quotes/zigman/662683 SIZ3 -2.63%  off 63 cents, or 2.6%, to $23.51 an ounce. Tracking the most-active contracts, prices were down about 1% for the week, but jumped 20% for the month.

Gold saw a second straight month of gains, “which is bullish from a momentum and technical perspective, especially as equities came under pressure this month,” said Mark O’Byrne, executive director at GoldCore in Dublin.

Gold futures on Thursday had fallen $5.90, or 0.4%, after the U.S. government said a decision about launching an attack against Syria hadn’t been made. The U.S. has said that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians near Damascus last week and Syria denied the accusation. Read Commodities Corner: Gold, oil: Syria is playing a small, tenuous role.