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Gold gains on soft U.S. data, news of fresh Russia sanctions

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold prices were up slightly in U.S. trading on Monday as soft U.S. housing data supported the metal by driving uncertainties as to when the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates.

News that the U.S. and Europe may slap fresh sanctions on Russia for allegedly intervening in Ukraine also supported the yellow metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at 1,305.90 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 0.05%, up from a session low of $1,303.50 and off a high of $1,311.50.

The December contract settled up 0.97% at $1,305.30 on Friday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,289.40 a troy ounce, Thursday's low, and resistance at $1,320.40, the high from July 21.

The dollar slid and gold rose on Monday after the National Association of Realtors reported that U.S. pending home sales fell 1.1% in June, disappointing expectations for a 0.5% gain.

The data fueled concerns that the U.S. housing sector may be battling headwinds, which sent investors selling the greenback for profits ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement on Wednesday and the July jobs report due out on Friday, with gold serving as a hedge due to its tendency to move inversely with the greenback.

Gold prices slid last week on upbeat durable goods, weekly jobless claims and new home sales reports, though Monday's data prompted investors to take a breather with the U.S. currency, which brought gold back into positive territory.

Still, uncertainty as to how much time will pass between rate hikes and a Fed decision to close its bond-buying stimulus program capped gold's gains, with many investors opting to wait on the sidelines until market-moving news hits the wire later this week.

Separately, news that the U.S. and Western Europe are planning to slap fresh sanctions on Russia for its alleged intervention in Ukraine by supporting separatists nudged gold up by stoking concerns such geopolitical issues will drag on global recovery and prompt the Federal Reserve and other central banks to hold off on tightening policy.

Investors were also awaiting final data on U.S. second-quarter growth on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery was down 0.24% at US$20.587 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery were up 0.13% at US$3.245 a pound. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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