US manufacturing declined in August for the first time in three years, while there were further concerns about the lack of progress on US-China trade talks, as well as worries of a Chinese slowdown.
Gold futures rose to $1555 an ounce as the dollar weakened. Spot gold was slightly lower at $1546/oz.
Meanwhile, copper lost another 0.1% to $5584.50 per tonne, its lowest level since June 2017. Other base metals were down with lead and zinc losing more than 1% each. Lead was at a one-month low, while zinc was close to a three-year low.
The rally in nickel paused, with the metal losing 0.5% to $18,023/t.
"The big question for nickel now is how quickly Indonesian domestic nickel pig iron supply can ramp up to offset ore export losses," BMO Capital Markets analyst Colin Hamilton said. "In the interim, we now model substantial refined nickel drawdown over the 2020 to 2021 period."