Gold, silver end higher on easing hopes
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Gold futures ended a seesawing Monday higher, amid hopes a meeting of central bankers later this week will bring fresh news about monetary easing in the U.S.
Gold for December delivery (GCZ2) gained $2.70, or 0.2%, to $1,675.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Volumes were thin, however, with London markets closed due to a holiday and as some investors were sidelined ahead of a gathering of central bankers later in the week, said James Cordier, a portfolio manager with Optionsellers.com in Florida.
Investors are looking for guidance as to the timing of possible easing measures in a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke slated for the central bankers's retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Gold gained 3.3% last week as anticipation of central-bank policy easing in China and the U.S. buoyed demand for the metal.
Bernanke indicated in a letter released Friday that the U.S. central bank has more tools, if needed, to bolster the economy.
The Fed chairman will likely stick to allusions to a third round of large-scale bond purchases, but little by way of concrete steps, Cordier said. "At the end of the day, I don't think he has any support on the political side to do that," with the presidential election around the corner, he said.
Silver tracked gold higher, with the September contract (SIU2) up 43 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $31.05 an ounce.
"The impending increase in risk appetite associated with a third round of quantitative easing goes a long way in offsetting weak fundamentals for silver," BNP Paribas precious-metals strategist Anne-Laure Tremblay wrote in a research note.
Platinum for October delivery (PLV2) lost $1.20, or 0.1%, to $1,553.20 an ounce.