– Gold futures plunged on Monday more than $15 an ounce, amid a stronger U.S. dollar as metals traders awaited a potential deal regarding the destabilization of Iran’s nuclear program. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery plummeted $15.80 or 1.32% to $1,184.90 in U.S. afternoon trading. Gold prices remained relatively flat on Monday afternoon after falling to a daily-low of 1,182.40 in morning trading. Last week, gold reached a three-week high at $1,205.10, capping a rally precipitated by relatively dovish comments from Janet Yellen following the Federal Open Market Committee’s last meeting on Mar. 18. Gold futures rebounded after dipping to a four-month low at 1,148.20, ahead of the Fed’s decision to remove its stance of remaining patient on the timing of a potential interest rate hike. Foreign ministers from major powers around the world convened in Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday, as the minutes ticked down to a deadline for reaching a preliminary deal with Iran. The two sides hope to hammer out the final details of an accord that could limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities by midnight on Tuesday evening. Gold is considered to be a safe haven for investors in periods of global instability. A deal could push investors away from the precious metal and into riskier yield bearing assets. The U.S. dollar strengthened modestly against the euro in anticipation of a possible deal. EUR/USD fell 0.0069 or 0.64% on Monday afternoon to 1.0820, after reaching a daily-high of 1.0895 hours earlier. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose 0.68% to 98.28. Gold becomes more expensive for foreign purchasers when the dollar is stronger. The mild gains in the dollar came after the release of mixed economic data on Monday. While personal spending rose in the United States last month for the first time in three months, the unexceptional gains still fell below analysts’ forecasts. The U.S. Commerce Department said in a monthly report that its Personal Spending Index edged up 0.1% in February, below expectations for a gain of 0.2%. Personal income, meanwhile, rose 0.4% above forecasts for a 0.3% increase. A gauge on existing home sales throughout the United States, however, painted a more optimistic outlook. A report from the National Association of Realtors found that contracts to purchase previously owned homes, soared 3.1% in February, significantly exceeding expectations of a 0.4% increase. In China, stocks on the Shanghai Composite Index soared 95.47 points or 2.59% to 3,786.57 after the People’s Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan remarked that there might be room in the Chinese economy for additional monetary easing. China is the second-largest purchaser of gold behind India. Elsewhere, silver futures for May delivery fell 0.411 or 2.41% to 16.658 a troy ounce. Copper futures for May delivery rose 0.012 or 0.43% to 2.779 a pound.