NEW YORK (AP) -- Gold prices are sliding for their third week running, as traders speculate that the Federal Reserve will ease off its stimulus program for the economy.

Gold for April delivery fell $5.80 Friday to settle at $1,572.80 an ounce. The price of gold dropped below $1,600 on Wednesday for the first time since August. The drop came after minutes from the Fed's last meeting revealed that some Fed officials discussed ending its bond-buying program sooner than planned.

Prices for other metals were mostly lower. Silver for May fell 24.1 cents to $28.52 an ounce. Platinum for April fell $12.60 to settle at $1,607.40. Copper for May fell 1.9 cents to $3.5505 per pound.

Palladium was the exception. Contracts for March edged up $1.70 to $735.30 an ounce.

Grain prices were mixed.