Gold prices extended losses from the previous session on Monday, as traders monitored the direction of the U.S. dollar to gauge the appeal of the precious metal.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery touched an intraday low of $1,187.10 a troy ounce, before trading at $1,187.50 during European morning hours, down $13.20, or 1.1%.
On Friday, gold lost $5.00, or 0.41%, to close at $1,200.70. Futures were likely to find support at $1,178.60, the low from March 23, and resistance at $1,220.40, the high from March 26.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.55% to 98.15 early on Monday. The index slid 0.66% last week, the second consecutive weekly decline.
Gold often moves inversely to the U.S. dollar, as prices become more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
The dollar pushed higher against the euro and the yen after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated Friday that the bank is likely to start raising interest rates later this year.
Investors were turning their attention to Friday’s U.S. employment report for February, and Monday’s data on personal spending for further indications on the path of monetary policy.
A strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls report was likely to add to speculation over when the Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates, while a weak number could boost gold by undermining the argument for an early rate hike.
Gold fell to a four-month low of $1,141.60 on March 17 amid concerns that the Fed will start raising rates as early as in June, before rallying for seven consecutive sessions after the Federal Reserve projected a slower pace of rate hikes.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery lost 32.9 cents, or 1.93%, to trade at $16.74 a troy ounce, while copper for May delivery tacked on 0.6 cents, or 0.22%, to trade at $2.774 a pound.
Copper remained supported amid speculation policymakers in China will do more to support growth following comments made by People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan over the weekend.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.