Gold and silver futures logged their third straight session gains, each closing at new 3-1/2 month highs.
Gold for April delivery edged up 50 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,258.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close is the highest since Nov. 10 when prices ended at $1,266.40 an ounce.
"After some mild overnight weakness, traders stepped in to buy the dip in the gold market," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report. "The near-term technical postures for all the precious metals markets continue to get more bullish, and that's inviting more chart-based buying interest in the precious metals."
Gold futures ranged from a low of $1,254.10 to a high of $1,264.90. They climbed 1.6% last week for their fourth straight weekly increase.
Meanwhile, silver for May delivery added 1.1 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $18.417 an ounce. The settlement is the strongest since Nov. 10 when the precious metal closed at $18.737 an ounce. Silver futures traded between $18.35 and $18.84. They moved up 1.7% last week, scoring their eighth straight weekly win.
In other precious metals action:
April platinum rose $10.20, or 1%, to $1,038.90 an ounce, ranging from $1,027.70 to $1,047.80.
Last week, platinum jumped 2.3% and palladium slipped 0.8%.
In comparing earlier fixed London bullion prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:
LBMA platinum and palladium prices are available on the LBMA's website with a delay of midnight.
Last week in London metal prices, palladium declined 0.9% while the others logged gains of 0.9% for gold, 1.5% for silver, and 1.7% for platinum.
U.S. Mint bullion sales posted increases of 2,000 ounces in gold coins and 326,000 ounces in silver coins.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.
In early 2016, physical gold hit $1,050 an ounce, which marked a level that gold investors hadn't seen since the latter half of 2009. After hitting $1,900 an ounce in 2011, gold shed 45% of its value as the U.S. economy improved, the U.S. dollar strengthened, and the Federal Reserve teased at, and finally began, raising its benchmark federal funds rate.
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