Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange closed below 1,230 U.S. dollars per ounce Tuesday on a stronger greenback. The most active gold contract for February delivery dropped 8.4 dollars, or 0.68 percent, to settle at 1,229.6 dollars per ounce. Economic data released Tuesday also dampened gold. U.S. Commerce Department posted U.S. trade deficit at 34.3 billion dollars in November, down nearly 13 percent from the prior month. This may indicate that the U.S. economy grew faster in the fourth quarter than expected. John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said Tuesday that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to scale back and eventually eliminate its bond purchases in 2014 as long as the economy grows as expected. Traders are also waiting for the minutes of the Federal Reserve 's December policy meeting and the monthly U.S. employment data due out later this week. Silver for March delivery lost 31.6 cents, or 1.57 percent, to close at 19.787 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery shed one dollar, or 0.07 percent, to close at 1,415.4 dollars per ounce.