NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Spot gold prices and silver led the precious metals complex Monday amid a spike in inflationary concerns, reaffirmation of U.S. economic problems and the flat-lining of stocks following Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's latest economic update.

Inconclusive discussions about Bush-era tax cuts also helped keep stocks in indecisive territory.

In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes over the weekend, Bernanke signaled that the central bank could expand its $600 billion bond purchase program to address the high unemployment rate. "We're not very far from the level where the economy is not self-sustaining," he told CBS.

The dual forces of economic uncertainty, including those caused by the euro-zone's deep debt problems and inflationary chatter stemming from Bernanke's talk of a third round of quantatative easing helped fuel the spike in spot gold prices and that of its less expensive cousin, silver. Silver soared to a 30-year high Monday.

Prices of auto catalyst components platinum and palladium fell with the economic news dampeners.


New York spot gold prices were tacking on $4.10, or 0.3%, to $1,418.60, according to Kitco's spot price index.

Spot silver prices were heating up by 67 cents, or 2.3%, to $30.05.
Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com

Spot platinum prices were falling by $12, or 0.7%, to $1,713 an ounce as its sister metal dipped into negative territory.
Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com


New York spot palladium prices were down $12, or 1.6%, to $755 an ounce.

Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com


Precious metal mining stocks and exchange-traded funds -- which offer another form of exposure to the precious metals -- were trading in mixed territory towards Monday's closing bell.

Kinross Gold ( KGC - Get Report) was higher by 2.4% to $19.19 while Silver Wheaton ( SLW) jumped by 3.9% to $40.85. Silvercorp Metals ( SVM - Get Report) was falling 3.2% to $13.15 as the company announced it has agreed to sell to a syndicate of underwriters, led by CIBC and BMO Capital Markets, 8 million common shares at $12.70 per share for aggregate gross proceeds of about $101.6 million.

ETFS Physical Platinum Shares ( PPLT - Get Report) were giving up 0.3% to $171.40 as ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ( PALL - Get Report) lost 1.3% to $75.37.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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