Gold Prices Rise as Dollar Weakens in 'Lackluster' Session (Update 1)

Updated from 12:17 p.m. ET with settlement prices and strategist comment

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were slightly higher on Monday as the U.S. dollar index weakened, mostly due to some pressure from the euro currency. Gold gained 0.11% on Friday.

Gold for April delivery settled up $1.10 to $1,578 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,582.50 and as low as $1,574.50 an ounce, while the spot price was increasing $1.50, according to Kitco's gold index.

"It's a real lackluster day," said James Steel, chief commodities analyst at HSBC Bank USA. "We've had scattered buying in the precious metals in general -- mostly in gold -- but the gains have run into headwinds with a stronger dollar."

"It's a boring day, to be honest," said Brent Johnson, chief executive at Santiago Capital in San Francisco. "It's kind of flat, up slightly a little bit."

Silver prices for May delivery slid 10 cents to $28.85 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was losing 0.15% to $82.60.

Steel said there was some physical buying of gold overnight in China, but there wasn't enough action to move the yellow metal decidedly higher.

China released economic data over the weekend that suggested slower growth than economists had anticipated. Reports showed industrial production and retail sales came in softer than expected.

There were no major U.S. economic announcements scheduled for Monday.

Gold prices on Friday initially sold off more than $10 after the Bureau of Labor Statistics' February employment report revealed nonfarm payrolls increased by 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked down to 2.2%.

But the precious metal found resilience on Friday after the stock markets fell off their intraday highs, partly due to traders having had more time to digest the labor report.

"The jobs side is kind of oscillating, we still have a confidence issue that's stemming," said Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management. "But eventually, when you look at the average hours worked weekly and the duration average -- that even though it's spiked up, it's still rolling over -- gives me credence that we're going to see a little bit more acceleration in the jobs market over the next year or two."

Gold mining stocks were mixed on Monday. Shares of Kinross Gold ( KGC) were sinking 2%, while shares of AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) were rising 0.89%.

Among volume leaders, Barrick Gold ( ABX) was down 0.35%.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) was climbing 0.13%, while iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) was up 0.2%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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