Gold Closes Higher Amid Market Decline

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Gold bars 2012 2
Gold bars.

On Monday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, increased $5.80 to settle at $1,676.40 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March declined 24 cents to close at $31.72.

Both precious metals were more stable than the general market as European political risk heats up again. In Spain, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is being accused of accepting and distributing illegal payments to party members. Rajoy is considered to be a front-runner in the upcoming elections, but now there is an increased amount of uncertainty. Meanwhile, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is regaining popularity, which threatens reforms previously adopted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both suffered their worst day of the year, as the U.S. dollar index climbed to as high as 79.61. The euro currency sank to $1.35 and European stocks had their biggest pullback in more than three months.

By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed 0.34 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) dipped 0.29 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) increased 0.47 percent and 0.84 percent, respectively. However, Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) both dropped more than 1 percent.

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