- Gold prices tumbled on Monday, as investors sold the precious metal to lock in profits following a recent run to four month highs.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery dropped 1.23% to $1,321.10 a troy ounce.

Gold rallied more than 1% to hit $1,346.80 an ounce last Thursday, the most since March 19, as concerns over the fiscal stability of major Portuguese lender Banco Espirito Santo sparked fears over the risk of contagion and prompted a sharp selloff in equities markets.

Gold prices eased on Friday but the precious metal still notched up gains of 1.2% or $16.10 an ounce last week, the sixth straight weekly gain.

Investors sold off gold on Monday ahead of the start of the U.S. corporate-earnings season. Market participants were also awaiting congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the week.

Traders were awaiting fresh indications on the future direction of monetary policy after last week’s minutes of the Fed’s June meeting revealed little new information on when rates could start to increase.

Silver futures for September delivery were also sharply lower, dropping 0.97% to $21.25 a troy ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, the September copper contract was off 0.02% at $3.268 a pound, while palladium for September delivery was down 0.37% to $872.10 an ounce.

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