Gold for June delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped $5.40 to $1,288.50 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,302.50 and as low as $1,281.80 an ounce, while the spot price was sliding $4.90, or 0.38%.
"This is basically a waiting game because London is closed today for Easter Monday, so a lot of the volume isn't there for what we normally see for a two-way market." George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Capital Markets, said in a phone interview from New York.
Analysts continued to monitor the escalation of violence in Ukraine, where reports said at least three people died in a shootout in the eastern city of Donetsk and another two bodies were pulled from a river the past few days.
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Geopolitical tensions typically trigger buying of gold as a safe-haven asset, but traders have yet to see safe-haven support for the yellow metal.
Gold miners were trading mixed on Monday, but market participants paid close attention to Barrick Gold (ABX - Get Report) and Newmont Mining (NEM - Get Report), which Bloomberg News reported agreed to an all-stock merger, but talks had recently broken down. Shares of Newmont were the top performer in the S&P 500, surging 6.4%, while Barrick slipped 3.9%.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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