CHICAGO, Oct. 19 -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell Thursday, as fears about China's economy eased and the U.S. dollar gained.
The most active gold contract for December delivery fell 8.3 dollars, or 0.47 percent, to settle at 1,744.7 dollars per ounce.
Gold futures had moved higher in the previous two sessions. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) overnight showed China's economic growth cooled to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2012.
According to the statistics, industrial value-added output grew 9.2 percent in September, while retail sales in September shot up 14.2 percent over the same period last year, both beating some of the economists' forecasts.
Market analysts say good economic news from China tends to weigh on gold prices because it encourages investors' appetite for much riskier assets. Furthermore, China's economic growth has started to stabilize, easing pressure on the government to announce measures to boost expansion.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose to 79.207 on Thursday, up from 79.022 in late trading on Wednesday. Strength in the U.S. dollar tends to hurt dollar-denominated commodities, such as gold, because it makes them more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Silver for December delivery fell 36.4 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at 32.868 dollars per ounce.