Gold jumped to its session highs at around 10 a.m. EST when the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index declined to 49.5 in November from 51.7 in October. A number less than 50 suggests contraction in the manufacturing sector. A consensus of economists had expected a reading of 51.3.
The HSBC PMI manufacturing index for China posted a reading of 50.5, which was a bit higher than economists' expectation of 50.4. The news was the first improvement in operating conditions there in 13 months, according to Econoday.
Talks on the so-called fiscal cliff -- when tax relief measures and deep spending cuts will automatically go into effect at the beginning of 2013 -- continued through the weekend as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reiterated to CNN that there wouldn't be a deal unless Republicans agreed to raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans.
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said Sunday in an interview with Fox News that he believed raising tax rates would hurt the economy, and questioned if there was a better way to raise revenue.Gold mining stocks were mixed Monday. Shares of Gold Fields (GFI - Get Report) were losing 3.8%, but shares of Royal Gold (RGLD - Get Report) were jumping 2.4%. Among volume leaders, Barrick Gold (ABX - Get Report) was dipping 0.61%, and Newmont Mining (NEM - Get Report) was down 2.1%. Gold ETFs SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 0.10%, and iShares Gold Trust (IAU) was inching higher by 0.12%. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >Contact by Email. Follow @JoeDeaux