Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Monday, reclaiming the 1,600 U.S. dollars level as the market found some safe-haven support from a weaker-than-expected data on the U.S. manufacturing sector.
The most active gold contract for June delivery rose 5.2 dollars, or 0.33 percent, to settle at 1,600.9 dollars per ounce.
Tracking the most-active contracts, gold futures rose 1.1 percent in March, but lost 4.8 percent for the first quarter.
Data on Monday showed that the pace of sales and production at U.S. manufacturers slowed in March. The Institute for Supply Management's survey of senior executives fell to 51.3 percent from 54.2 percent in February. For now, gold is finding support from the weak ISM manufacturing report, according to market analysts.
Gains for gold Monday also came as the U.S. dollar weakened. The dollar index, which measures the greenback's performance against six other major currencies, dropped to 82.746 on Monday from 82.998 on Friday. Dollar weakness often provides support for prices of dollar-denominated commodities such as gold and oil.
Given that backdrop, silver for May delivery lost 37.9 cents, or 1.34 percent, to close at 27.944 dollars per ounce.