Gold Prices near lows of the year

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Gold prices have tumbled this month and are back near their lowest levels of the year.

The precious metal is trading at about $1,245 an ounce, down 25% from the beginning of 2013.

Gold dipped as low as $1,211 an ounce in June.

Gold has been under pressure since the European Central Bank announced a suprise interest rate cut earlier this month, said Carlos Sanchez, analyst at precious metals firm CPM group.

That drove up the value of the dollar versus the euro and made dollar-denominated assets, such as gold, less attractive.

The selling accelerated Wednesday after minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve raised speculation that the central bank could scale back, or taper, its bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, as soon as December.

But gold prices managed to hold above $1,240 an ounce, which is an important support level for technical traders, said Sanchez.