METALS : Gold Declines in a Round of Profit Taking

From Reuters

The price of gold, which soared last week to a high for the year, suffered a setback Monday in a round of profit taking--but analysts remain optimistic that the precious metal will soon resume its rise.

In lively trading on the New York Commodity Exchange, gold futures closed Monday with losses amid heightened worries about the political upheaval in Eastern European countries.

"Gold had six days of consecutive increases, and, on the seventh day, the market needed a rest," John Brimelow of Keane Securities said.

Gold futures settled $5.20 to $6.10 lower, with the contract for delivery in December down $5.20 at $414.10 an ounce.

"It's all profit taking that is long overdue, and traders are capitalizing on the lower prices," said George Nickas, a trader at Geldermann Inc.

Gold leaped $25 an ounce last week and hit a 1989 high of $419.70 Friday, eclipsing the previous high of $413 an ounce set in January, as investors snapped up the metal for its safe-haven status, wary of the economic impact of continuing East Bloc upheaval.

A weaker dollar last week also boosted the price of gold, which is seen as a solid investment in times of economic or political uncertainty.

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