Gold rises; copper, silver lead metal gains

Gold prices rose today on news that a US manufacturing survey was positive. This is the second day in a row gold gains after the metal posted a rise in prices on Friday. After the recent bearish sessions for gold, many market experts are predicting higher prices and are re-establishing their long positions.

By Claudia Assis and Myra P. Saefong
April 2, 2012, 2:28 p.m. EDT
Market Watch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold futures rose Monday after a U.S. manufacturing survey was positive, moving higher alongside oil and U.S. stocks and as other metals such as silver and copper also posted gains.

Gold futures for June delivery GCM2 +0.46% rose $7.80, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,679.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold extended gains to a second day, following a gain of 1% Friday, which brought the quarter advance to 6.7%.

The metal had spent most of last week in the red.

On Monday, gold shook off initial weakness to climb moments before manufacturing data. The Institute for Supply Management’s index rose to 53.4% in March from 52.4% in February.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a rise to 53.5%. Read more on ISM.

In recent months, Gold has often tracked equities and oil and has behaved as a typical commodity rather than a safe-haven instrument.

Investors were re-establishing their long positions, or bets gold futures will go higher, after the recent bearish sessions, said James Moore, an analyst with in the U.K.

Gold is also closer to more physical demand with wedding season in India ahead, he added.

Jewelers in India, one of the world’s largest markets for the yellow metal, are expected to reopen for business after a two-week strike protesting an increase in duties, analysts at India’s ICICI Bank said in a note.

They expected gold to trade in a range between $1,650 and $1,690 an ounce.

The upward movement in dollar-denominated gold is also in reaction to slightly weaker U.S. dollar and, along with entering the new quarter, “investors could be willing to look at a risk-on trade,” said Jeff Wright, managing director and senior research analyst at Global Hunter Securities.

“I still believe we are range bound on gold for the near term between $1,600 - $1,800 per ounce; and do not see this changing without further quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal reserve, significant progress towards resolving European debt crisis or a collapse of the euro.”

Among the broader suite of metals, silver also climbed, with the May contract SIK2 +1.65% up 6 cents, or 1.9%, to finish at $33.10 an ounce.

May copper HGK2 +2.50% rose 10 cents, or 2.5%, to $3.92 a pound, adding to gains after the U.S. manufacturing data.

Official manufacturing data in China on Sunday showed the purchasing managers’ index in a fourth month of improvement, at 53.1 in March from 51 for February.

A final report from HSBC and financial-services consultant Markit showed a PMI at 48.3 in March, down from 49.6 in February. Read a report on the differences between the two surveys.

“Overall copper remains the strongest metal and should benefit from the better Chinese sentiment and by what is expected to be a strong jobs number out of the U.S. at week’s end,” analysts at RBC Capital Markets said.

Platinum and palladium also gained, with platinum for July delivery PLN2 +0.65% rising $10.80, or 0.7%, to end at $1,654.90 an ounce. June palladium PAM2 +0.76% added $4.70, or 0.7%, to settle at $658.80 an ounce.

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