On Monday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery, the most active contract, gained $5.20 to close at $1,600.90 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May fell 38 cents to finish at $27.94.
Gold climbed higher as the U.S. dollar index retreated from multi-month highs. The expansion of the manufacturing sector was slower than expected last month. The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity dropped to 51.3 in March, compared to 54.2 in the previous month.
The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a reading of 54.0, while a poll conducted by Reuters expected 54.2. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) edged 0.25 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) fell 1.3 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) both dropped more than 1.0 percent. Silver names such as First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) both declined more than 2.0 percent.
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