* Weak interest from Western investors keeps a lid on gains
* Markets eye FOMC minutes on Wednesday
* Gold/platinum ratio hits lowest since August 2011 (Updates prices, adds comments)
By Clara Denina
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Gold moved lower on Tuesday as signs economic recovery on both sides of the Atlantic was well underway diverted Western investors' attention to riskier assets, ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve minutes later this week.
Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,606 an ounce at 1523 GMT, having recovered from a six-month low of $1,598.04 hit on Friday. U.S. gold futures for April delivery also fell 0.3 percent to 1,604.40.
Last week's 3.8 percent drop pushed gold into a new lower technical range between $1,550 and $1,625, making it vulnerable to further losses in the short term, traders said, adding that sentiment has remained fragile and investor confidence has been tarnished by signs of improving economic conditions.
"Speculators and financial investors are withdrawing from the market and we see that they will continue to do so in coming days on continued signs of economic strength," Commerzbank commodity analyst Daniel Briesemann said.
"For this reason, many investors are shifting away from gold as a safe haven into more cyclical commodities to gain higher yields."
European and U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, while the euro held around earlier session highs against the dollar after a pick-up in German economic sentiment data bolstered hopes the region's biggest economy would rebound quickly from its recent weakness.
In the United States, home-builder confidence for single family homes eased slightly in February but remained around the previous month's seven-year high.
Gold has tended to track stock markets for much of the last year, benefiting from a sharper appetite for assets seen as higher risk, but the relationship is volatile.
Investors will scour the minutes from the latest policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve due on Wednesday for hints on the central bank's attitude to monetary stimulus, which has been a key driver behind gold's rally over the past two years.
"The previous minutes ... indicated the potential for removing quantitative easing by the end of the year, and if that's confirmed, gold would fall further, because you would expect the dollar to strengthen," Citigroup strategist David Wilson said.
AMPLATS KNOCKS PLATINUM
Platinum prices fell back after platinum producer Anglo American Platinum said operations at its South African mines should resume on Wednesday. [
Shafts remained closed on Tuesday due to a work stoppage following clashes between rival unions.
Spot platinum fell 0.7 percent to $1,680.50 an ounce. Palladium dropped 0.1 percent to $760 an ounce.
Platinum managed to regain its traditional premium over gold for the first time in almost a year last month after Amplats said it planned to mothball two South African mines, sell another and cut 14,000 jobs.
The gold/platinum ratio on Tuesday dipped to its lowest since early August 2011, with an ounce of gold buying 0.95 ounces of platinum.
Platinum was also undermined by data showing that European car sales began 2013 with an 8.5 percent fall, weighing on outlook for platinum demand.
The European market is dominated by diesel engines, which use platinum in catalyst converters to clean exhaust emissions.
Broker UBS cut its one-month platinum forecast to $1,650 from $1,720, anticipating potential downside risks to sentiment surrounding the U.S. automatic budget sequestration due in March.
Silver followed gold lower, dropping 1.3 percent to $29.48 an ounce. (Editing by Jane Baird and Keiron Henderson)