Gold falls on year’s final trading day to end 2014 down 1.5%


SAN FRANCISCO—Gold prices declined slightly over 2014 as losses in the year’s final day of trading prevented the metal from merely breaking even on an annual basis.

Gold for February delivery GCG5, +0.48%  fell $16.30, or 1.4%, to settle at $1,184.10 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to FactSet data. At one point during the trading day, it looked as if gold may eke out a slight gain as it hit a session high of $1,203.90 an ounce.

For the year, gold prices declined 1.5%, compared with the Dec. 31, 2013, settlement price of $1,202.30 an ounce. Gold prices have tumbled from $1,379 an ounce earlier this year, or 14%, dragged down by sluggish demand from Asia and a stronger dollar.

Gary Wagner of said risk aversion is common at a time of year when no certain trading patterns can expect to hold steady.

“From a strictly fundamental viewpoint, gold is trading approximately the way it should, slightly jumpy and range-bound,” he said.

Meanwhile, silver for March delivery SIH5, +1.19% lost 68 cents, or 4.2%, to settle at $15.60 an ounce. Silver has declined 19% from its year-ago settlement of $19.37 an ounce.

On the economic front, a trio of reports were due later in the day, beginning with initial weekly unemployment claims, followed by the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for December and pending home sales for November.

In other metals trading, platinum for April delivery PLJ5, -0.40%  declined $9.80, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,209.50 an ounce. The metal is off 12% for the year.

Palladium for March delivery PAH5, -0.44% fell $5.80, or 0.7%, to settle at $798.40 an ounce, a n 11% increase over the year.

High-grade copper for March delivery HGH5, -0.41%  declined 3 cents, or 1%, to just under $2.83 a pound. Copper futures recently fell to their lowest level since June 2010, and are down 17% for the year.