Gold futures settled with a loss on Monday, with prices ending below the key $1,800 mark for a fourth session in a row. The big question for the market is the "interest rate outlook of key central banks for next year" in light of the new omicron coronavirus variant, said Chintan Karnani, director of research at Insignia Consultants. A delayed interest rate hike expectation for 2022 "will cause stock prices and inflation to rise," he said. February gold /zigman2/quotes/217725591/delayed GCG22 -0.23% fell $2.90, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,785.20 an ounce. Prices posted gains last Wednesday and Friday, with trading closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Gold hasn't settled above $1,800 since Nov. 22.