The price of gold is lower on concerns about pending U.S. budget issues and Europe's recession.

Gold for December delivery dropped $16.30 Thursday to finish at $1,713.80 per ounce.

President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders are at odds over the best way to resolve budget issues before tax hikes and spending cuts take effect Jan. 1. Many economists believe that without a compromise, the U.S. could wind up back in a recession.

Meanwhile, official data showed 17 European countries are back in a recession.

Analysts say investors are opting to conserve their cash because of the uncertainty about where the global economy may be headed.

In other trading, prices are lower for oil, soybeans, wheat, and corn. Gasoline, copper, and orange juice are higher.