On Monday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December delivery edged $2.10 lower to settle at $1,770.60 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) ticked down 29 cents to close at $34.37.

Both precious metals declined as the U.S. dollar index climbed to as high as 79.04 after weak economic data. According to the New York Federal Reserve, factory activity in New York contracted for the second consecutive month in September.

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The Empire Manufacturing Index fell to -10.41, compared to -5.85 in the previous month. It was the lowest reading since April 2009, and well below estimates of -2.0. Forward-looking new orders also dropped to -14.03, from -5.50.

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) declined 0.50 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) fell 1.58 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) dropped 1.37 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, silver names Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) decreased 2.97 percent and 1.47 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS