GOLD was trading at $US1,197.90 per fine ounce in Sydney at 1411 AEDT on Friday, down from Thursday's price of $US1,207.80. Global gold prices have slid to their lowest levels in nearly a month due to hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve and strong US economic data indicating the central bank could raise interest rates sooner than expected. Fat Prophets resources analyst David Lennox said Australia's largest gold producer Newcrest Mining would come under renewed pressure if the price remained at current levels. "A fall in the gold price, unfortunately, is the most extreme damage you can do to your operating profits," Mr Lennox said. He said the pain was only partially offset by a weaker currency and cost reductions. "If it stays at this level, it will require gold companies to adjust the valuations of their mines." Companies which report profits to December, 2014 would need to examine whether they need to adjust their valuations, he said. Mr Lennox added that Newcrest may have to report further impairments if the gold price slips further. Australian gold miners have been trying to pay down debt over the past 12 months to counter further price falls. The price of gold has fallen more than $US100 over the past four months from $US1327.00 on June 30.