Gold futures settled lower on Wednesday, with prices giving back nearly all of Tuesday's gain. "While this 2021 rise in inflation is a long way off 1970s' levels, it is going global as energy prices soar, and yet gold just isn't responding," said Adrian Ash, director of research at BullionVault. It's clear that for now, the precious metals market still agrees with central bankers that this spike in inflation is transitory, he said. However, if this energy scramble continues and a winter fuel crisis takes inflation higher again, gold at today's $1,800 level "could look cheap in hindsight." December gold /zigman2/quotes/210039437/delayed GCZ21 +0.02% fell $12.30, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,794.80 an ounce. On Tuesday, prices rose 0.7% to $1,807.10, the highest finish since Sept. 3.