Gold Prices Sag; Copper Pops

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were rising slightly Monday, despite a stronger U.S. dollar.

Gold for April delivery was up 70 cents to $1,119.60 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have traded as high as $1,123.90 and as low as $1,112.10. The U.S. dollar index was rising 0.53% to $80.79.

Gold prices came under mild pressure early, as the euro fell against the U.S. dollar. Details of a Greek financial rescue plan are still murky, but were beginning to take shape. According to reports, Greece could receive as much as 30 billion euros, and the country would sell its debt to French and German entities. EU nations have taken a harder stance with Greece, pushing the country to raise taxes and cut expenses in order to slash its rising debt levels. The EU's Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn is in Athens today talking to Greek officials about how the government can address its debt crisis. Gold reversed its losses in afternoon trading as bailout hopes increase investors appetite for riskier commodities.

Gold's Tight Range

"I don't see a lot of action in gold. I think there's going to be some volatility, but I don't think there's going to be any breakout either way," says David Morgan, founder of Silver-Investor.com " But I think we are inching our way up. ... Technically, we're just going to be really kind of quiet in the metals this week."

Copper prices continued climbing Monday after the earthquake in Chile halted mine production. Chile is the world's largest copper producer and a possible supply crunch boosted prices. Copper was rising 6 cents to $3.34 while silver was down one cent to $16.50.

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Mining stocks, a more leveraged way to invest in gold, were mixed. Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) was rising 1.77% to $76.52, while Southern Copper ( SCCO) was trading higher by 1.60% at $29.83. Freeport reported this morning that it would restore its operations at the Candelaria mine in Chile, but possible blackouts could result.

Shares of Barrick Gold ( ABX) were rising 1.83% to $38.35 while Newmont Mining ( NEM) was trading over 2% higher at $50.22. Other large-cap miners Kinross Gold ( KGC) and Goldcorp ( GG) were slightly higher at $18.47 and $38.34, respectively.

Shares of Gold Fields ( GFI) were slipping 0.78% to $11.58. The company is currently in a labor dispute, and if that is left unresolved by March 7, it could shut down all of its gold operations in South Africa.

The popular physically backed ETF SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD) was relatively flat at $109.60.

-- Written by Alix Steel in New York.

Alix joined TheStreet.com TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.

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