Gold prices settled sharply lower Wednesday, ending a two-day string of gains, as the U.S. dollar halted its skid and as commodity investors watched for minutes from the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting, which could provide further insights on the central banker's outlook for the U.S. and global business. December gold /zigman2/quotes/210039572/delayed GCZ20 +0.46% finished down $42.80, or 2.1%, to end at $1,970.30. The dip for gold comes as the dollar popped off a two-year low. A measure of the buck, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY -0.17% , which gauges the dollar against six currency pairs, including the euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.1184% and the British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0076% , was up 0.5% at 92.714. Weakness in the dollar can raise the appeal of commodities priced in the currency to overseas buyers. The Fed's meeting minutes are released at 2 p.m., about a half-hour after the settlement for metal's on Comex.