Investing.com - Gold prices extended gains from last week to hit a three-and-a-half month peak on Monday, as a recent spate of disappointing U.S. economic data forced investors to recalibrate their assumptions about the future course of the Federal Reserve''s monetary policy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery rose to a session high of USD1,329.90 a troy ounce, the most since October 31.
Gold prices last traded at USD1,324.50 an ounce during European morning hours, up 0.45%, or USD5.70. Futures ended Friday’s session up 1.42%, or USD18.50, to settle at USD1,318.60 an ounce.
Prices were likely to find support at USD1,286.20 a troy ounce, the low from February 13 and resistance at USD1,341.90, the high from October 31.
Meanwhile, silver for March delivery rose 0.8% to trade at USD21.59 a troy ounce, the strongest level since November 7. The March contract soared 5.03% on Friday to end at USD21.42 an ounce.
Trade volumes were expected to remain light on Monday, with Comex floor trading remaining closed for the U.S. President’s Day holiday. All electronic trades placed will register on Tuesday, when the market resumes normal trading hours.
Gold prices have been well-supported in recent weeks amid concerns that the U.S. economic recovery has lost momentum since the end of last year as inclement winter weather weighed on growth.
Data on Friday showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% from a month earlier in January, compared to expectations for a 0.3% gain.
This disappointing data came one day after the Commerce Department said that retail sales fell 0.4% in January, confounding expectations for a 0.3% increase.
Gold has gained nearly 9% since the beginning of the year, following a 28% drop in 2013.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for March delivery rose 0.6% to trade at USD3.284 a pound.
Data released over the weekend showed that Chinese bank lending rose to a four-year high in January, easing concerns over tightening liquidity levels.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.