Gold futures closed under $1,300 an ounce on Monday, giving back part of the gains they saw in the previous session, but prices managed to settle off the day’s low as benchmark indexes tracked U.S. equities lower.
Gold for June delivery GCM4 -0.40% fell $1.80, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,299 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, off the low of $1,292.10 seen in electronic trading.
Among the most active contracts for silver, May silver SIK4 -0.81% also dipped 10 cents, or 0.5%, to $19.59 an ounce, while the July contract SIN4 -0.81% ended at $19.62 an ounce, down 10 cents, or 0.5%.
Gold’s decline was “due to an orchestra of events,” said Adam Koos, president and portfolio manager at Libertas Wealth Management Group. The decline could have something to do with the fact that Newmont Mining Corp. NEM -0.08 has dumped the merger and acquisition negotiations with Barrick Gold Corp. ABX +1.96% CA:ABX +1.20% , he said.
He also said M&A news on the “non-gold” front was so good early Monday that they added confidence to the market, driving prices in equities up, and thus, hurt the “ ‘flee to gold safety’ crowd.” But U.S. stocks turned mostly lower as of Monday afternoon as traders digested deal news among drug and telecom companies, and awaited Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy statement and Friday’s U.S. jobs report. Koos also attributed gold’s price weakness to new sanctions on Russia, which may mute further geopolitical turmoil.
The White House on Monday announced a series of additional sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine. It’s imposing sanctions on seven Russian government officials and 17 companies linked to the “inner circle” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The European Union also agreed to hit 15 more Russian and Ukrainian individuals with sanctions.
Gold prices also fell in the wake of data showing that U.S. pending-home sales rose 3.4% in March, marking the first gain in nine months.
Prices for the yellow metal ended last week with a third-consecutive gain, marking for the first weekly uptrend in two weeks. The price of gold closed above that key $1,300 level for the first time since April 16.
What to watch
Looking ahead, along with a packed earnings slate, some of the data that gold investors will plug into during the week include the monthly jobs report, first-quarter gross domestic product and the latest word out of the Federal Reserve.
The Fed will make its latest monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The last time Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen spoke, she backtracked somewhat on her prior comments regarding the Fed’s tapering policy, said Vedant Mimani, lead portfolio manager of the Atyant Capital Global Opportunities Fund. But “we are expecting gold to remain under pressure, as we see the Fed continuing to taper as it looks to normalize its monetary policy.”
Elsewhere in metals trading, July platinum PLN4 -0.40% fell $4.60, or 0.3%, to $1,419.70 an ounce, while June palladium PAM4 -0.54% shed $10.50, or 1.3%, to $800.70 an ounce. High-grade copper for May delivery HGK4 +0.10% closed down 1.5 cents, or 0.5%, at $3.11 a pound. July copper HGN4 +0.02% , which is now the most-active contract, ended flat at $3.09 an ounce.
Metals miners traded mostly lower Monday, with Newmont Mining shares dropping 5.9% and Barrick Gold shares falling 3.1%. Barrick said it was Newmont’s decision to terminate merger talks. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index XAU +1.65% and the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index XX:HUI +1.48% each declined by 2.1%. The SPDR Gol