Palladium, meanwhile, led the percentage losses among the major metals on Comex, dropping 4% following gains in seven out of the last eight trading sessions.
Gold for June delivery was down $7.30, or 0.6%, to $1,286.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. May silver also took a hit, down 22 cents, or 1.1%, to $19.38 an ounce.
Gold prices had breached the 200-day moving average around $1,299 right before the long weekend, which has prompted some technical-based selling.The 100-day moving average around $1,277 is the next target, and a breach of that could send gold even lower.
But the producer-merchant segment of Comex participants are now showing their lowest short position in eight years, which indicates that this very savvy sector doesn’t expect gold to go much lower, and is indeed positioned for prices to rise.
For now, Comex gold held near their lowest closing level since April 3.
Traders kept watch on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. The international organization tasked with helping to defuse the crisis intends to work on bolstering its ranks with more monitors.
Safe-haven’ demand for gold will likely become a feature again in the near term.But the market remains fickle, and profits are likely to be taken off the table quickly.
Last week gold, which settled at its lowest level in two weeks after losing 1.9% during the holiday-shortened stretch. Positive word from the jobless claims report didn’t help support the precious metal as investors continued to go back to equities.
Economic recovery proves to be sluggish, resilientThe recovery from the recession has been nasty, brutish and long. It also is shaping up as one of the most enduring. Josh Zumbrun joins MoneyBeat. Photo: Getty Images.
In U.S. economic news on Monday, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to 0.20 in March from 0.53 in February, while the Conference Board’s leading economic index for March rose 0.8%.
In other metals trading, June palladium slid $31.90, or 4%, to $775.20 an ounce but prices were still up around 8% year-to-date, in part due to supply worries tied to Russia.
July platinum also shed $25.70, or 1.8%, to $1,403 an ounce. High-grade copper for May delivery was roughly unchanged at $3.05 a pound.
Metals miners traded mostly lower. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index lost 1.1%, with shares of Barrick Gold Corp. falling 3.3%.
Newmont Mining Corp. shares, however, traded 6.2% higher. Talks between Barrick and Newmont over a deal that would have combined the world’s two largest gold producers broke down in the past few days.The news comes on the heels of an agreement announced last week between Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. to buy Osisko Mining Corp.Among exchange-traded funds, the SPDR Gold Trust declined by 0.6%, while the i Shares Silver Trust fell 1.2%.