PT EQUITYWORLD FUTURES SSC JAKARTA – Gold futures fell to the lowest in almost a month as gains for the dollar cut demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset.

The dollar climbed to a 10-year high against a basket of 10 counterparts as traders sought safety from volatility in emerging markets. Investors favored the U.S. currency over gold as signs of a stronger American economy increase the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006.

Gold dropped 29 percent in the previous two years, posting the first consecutive annual decline since 1998 as equities surged to a record and the U.S. economy gained traction. Higher rates cut gold’s allure because the metal generally offers investors returns only through price gains. A government report Tuesday that showed gains for American job openings underscored the thriving labor market.

“The strength of the dollar is behind gold’s drop,” Eugen Weinberg, the head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview. “The reasons for the dollar are very compelling: the recent economic numbers are very good, and they speak for quicker tightening in the U.S.”

Gold futures PT EQUITYWORLD FUTURES SSC JAKARTA for April delivery fell 1 percent to settle at $1,219.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after touching a four-week low of $1,218.20.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery slid 0.7 percent to $16.761 an ounce.

Platinum dropped on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while palladium rose.