Updated from 11:06 a.m. EDT with settlement prices
Gold for August delivery settled up $10.20 at $1,589.10 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,590 and as low as $1,576 an ounce, while the spot price was up $9.70, according to Kitco's gold index.
"Prices have firmed a little bit and sentiment seems to be improving," said Jeffrey Nichols, managing director of American Precious Metals Advisors and senior economic adviser to Rosland Capital. "Last week's employment numbers continue to paint the picture of a weak economy and that realization is sinking in gradually, leaving more traders and speculators to expect some form of [Federal Reserve] easing." Silver prices for September delivery settled up about 52 cents at $27.45 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was down 0.16% at $83.16. Gold sold off Friday after nonfarm payrolls came in close to consensus, which indicated that the Federal Reserve would be unlikely to initiate quantitative easing this week. Though most traders don't see so-called QE3 coming this week in the Fed minutes, many do expect the U.S. central bank to take action in the near-term. "About 50% of the primary dealers in June thought we'd see QE3, and now it's up to 75% ... so they're the ones most closely aligned with the Fed," said Chuck Butler, president of world markets at EverBank. "It kind of indicates something or suggests something, but you won't know for sure." Investors may want to keep an eye on quantitative easing opposition by Fed members in Wednesday's minutes. "It would be interesting to see just how much opposition to easing there is -- that's obviously a key, because the Fed likes to act more by consensus," said Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management. "If there's still a lot of strong opposition to easing, that would give us a clue as to what might happen at the end of the month."
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