Investing.com - Gold and silver prices inched modestly lower on Monday, as expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to gradually reduce the pace of its stimulus program weighed.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery fell to a session low of $1,328.20 an ounce, the weakest since February 28.
Gold last traded at $1,336.10 an ounce during European morning hours, down 0.15%, or $1.80. Gold futures lost 1.01%, or $13.60 an ounce, on Friday to settle at $1,338.20.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,319.30 a troy ounce, the low from February 28 and resistance at $1,355.00, the high from March 3.
Meanwhile, silver for May delivery fell to a daily low of $20.62 a troy ounce, the cheapest since February 14, before recovering to trade at 20.91, down 0.05%, or $0.01 cent.
The May contract ended Friday’s session down 2.99%, or $0.64 cents, to settle at $20.92 an ounce.
Silver futures were likely to find support at $20.44 a troy ounce, the low from February 14 and resistance at $21.61, the high from March 7.
The Labor Department said Friday that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, well above expectations for 149,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% from 6.6% in January, as more people joined the workforce.
The upbeat jobs report eased concerns over soft U.S. economic data seen in the past few months and underlined the view that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue to gradually taper its bond-buying program.
Market players will be anticipating what will be closely-watched U.S. data on retail sales and consumer sentiment later in the week for further indications of the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.
Losses were limited as investors continued to monitor events in the Ukraine, where tension over moves by neighboring Russia in the Crimean region have heightened demand for safe haven assets.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for May delivery tumbled 1.6%, or $0.049 cents, to trade at $3.033 a pound.
Prices hit a session low of $2.996 a pound earlier, the weakest since June 25, as growing concerns over the health of China’s economy dampened demand for growth-linked assets.
Data released over the weekend showed that Chinese exports collapsed 18.1% in February from a year earlier, disappointing expectations for a 6.8% increase.
The significant decline in China’s exports led to a deficit of $22.98 billion last month, compared to a surplus of $31.86 billion in January. Analysts had expected a surplus of $14.5 billion in February.
A separate report showed that consumer price inflation in China rose 2% in February from a year earlier, in line with expectations, while producer price inflation declined 2%, compared to forecasts for a 1.9% drop.