Gold prices closed modestly lower Monday but other precious metals posted gains as bargain hunters moved in to take advantage of discounts on silver, platinum and palladium.
When you get platinum down around $1,400 and palladium pounded down close to $600 a lot of people said, 'This is overdone,' Peter Thomas of PFG Precious Metals said. (The price gains in the white metals) reflects some people getting back from vacation and looking at their bottom line and deciding to restore precious metals in their vaults.
Thomas said also many of his customers took advantage of the fact that silver was trading below $30 to make purchases.
Gold, meanwhile, spent the day hovering in a tight range before ending the day a few dollars lower.
The yellow metal found support from a weaker dollar, which was down 0.28 percent to 81.37 against a basket of major rivals, and demand in Asia -- particularly China -- for physical gold ahead of the Jan. 23 start of the Lunar New Year.
Gold was hampered by a decline in the price of crude oil. West Texas Intermediate closed down 22 cents to $101.56 per barrel.
The tight range within which gold prices fluctuate may continue.
Gold is finding better support, but it has been very range bound since the start of the year, Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet, told Reuters. Physical demand has improved but we don't think it will push the price much higher than $1,650, (and) buying comes though when prices dip below $1,600.
Gold for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, closed down $8.70 to $1,608.10, while spot gold fell $7.57 to $1,609.08.
Silver for March delivery, the most actively traded contract, added 25 cents to 28.93 and spot silver was up 10 cents to $28.85.