) --

Gold prices were trading near the flat line Monday as the yellow metal continued to consolidate after a monster rise from the

Federal Reserve's

announcement of quantitative easing.

Gold for December delivery was up $1.50 to $1,774.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The

gold price traded as high as $1,778.90 and as low as $1,769.50 an ounce, while the spot price was up $1.20, according to Kitco's gold index.

"There was a major reaction ... to the Fed, so gold has already rallied up a lot, and even Friday it went

up but it wasn't that crazy," said Yu-Dee Chang, chief trader at Ace Investment Strategists. "We are thinking short-term wise it could go up a bit more but we believe it may consolidate or even pull back a little bit."

Silver prices for December delivery were losing about 8 cents to $34.58 an ounce, while the

U.S. dollar index was gaining 0.05% to $78.87.

The gold price saw one of its largest intraday gains last Thursday after the Fed

unveiled an open-ended asset-purchase program

as part of aggressive monetary stimulus meant to fuel the sluggish jobs market.

Chang said that he believed upper resistance on gold would be at about $1,800 an ounce, and added that he had a 12-month projection of $2,300 an ounce.

Chang said he thinks $2,300 is possible because based on inflation-adjusted numbers the yellow metal has only returned to a 1980 high.

Monday marked the second consecutive trading day that gold failed to make a meaningful move to the positive, as Thursday's $38.40 spike seemed to immediately price in the short-term effects of QE3.

Gold will continue to eye the eurozone as finance ministers continue to discuss the merits and disadvantages to bailout measures for countries like Spain. Though many analysts see some form of monetary easing in the near future, it remains a tepid discussion without a definitive time table.

Meaningful action in Europe could offer the next big gap up for the precious metal.

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower on Monday. Shares of

Randgold Resources

(GOLD) - Get Report

were gaining 1.1%, while

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Report

was shedding 1.1%.

Among other mining stocks,

Yamana Gold

(AUY) - Get Report

was down 0.21%, and

Gold Fields

(GFI) - Get Report

was losing 0.19%.

Gold ETF

SPDR Gold Trust

(GLD) - Get Report

was trading sideways.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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