By Leia Michele Toovey- Exclusive to Gold Investing News

Gold futures wavered between gains and losses Monday, struggling to break their four day losing streak.    Gold for February delivery lost 70 cents to $1,368.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It had earlier traded as high as $1,376.40 an ounce, and as low as the $1,365.40 level.

Opposing data is causing gold's price tug-o-war.  Economic uncertainty in the EU and inflation in China and India are positive for gold prices. China's inflation surged to 5.1 percent in November. “Chinese and Indian investors will want to gain exposure to precious metals as an imperfect inflation hedge,” according to Bayram Dincer, an analyst at LGT Capital Management in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland. Dincer said by e-mail, “U.S. and European investors will want to gain exposure because of the unstable economic situation and high, unsustainable debt levels.” While inflation in the United States is theoretically positive for gold, strength in the US dollar is negative.  As the world's largest economy improves, so does its dollar, and this in turn is negative for dollar-dominated commodities such as gold.

At the end of last year gold was in record territory at about $1425 per ounce, but since the start of 2011 it has taken on a bearish tone. The precious metal lost 4 percent last week, its worst performance in six months.  Gold futures were up slightly in early morning trade, ahead of a bond sale in Portugal, Spain and Italy. The planned bond sales have revived concern that the EU debt crisis may linger; adding extra impetus was an increase in gold demand tied to Portugal encouragement to accept aid. Gold futures gained 30 percent last year as bailouts of Greece and Ireland sent the euro down 6.5 percent against the dollar.