By Stephanie Yang

Gold prices closed at a nine-month low Friday, under pressure from higher risk appetite and the prospect of higher interest rates.

Gold for December delivery settled down 0.9% at $1,178.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest close since Feb. 5.

"An upbeat trader and investor mentality since the U.S. presidential election continues to reduce buying interest in the safe-haven gold market," wrote Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, in a Friday note.

Major U.S. stock indexes edged higher Friday to close at fresh highs.

Riskier assets like stocks have benefited from upbeat sentiment on economic growth following the U.S. presidential election.

The low number of open contracts in gold futures "shows how funds were fleeing and off the radar now," said George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management.

Gold also has been weighed down by bets on an interest-rate increase in December.

This week, minutes from the Federal Reserve's November meeting showed that officials believed a rate increase will be appropriate "relatively soon," supporting expectations that the central bank will raise rates at the December meeting. Higher rates tend to weigh on gold, which pays its holders nothing and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.

According to the CME Group's FedWatch Tool, 93.5% of traders expect the Fed to raise interest rates at the policy meeting next month.

Write to Stephanie Yang at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 25, 2016 14:01 ET (19:01 GMT)

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