CHICAGO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Monday, as the market looked to this week' speeches by U.S. Federal Reserve officials for hints on their next move regarding the U.S. monetary policy.
The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 8.8 dollars, or 0.53 percent, to settle at 1,669.4 dollars per ounce.
Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, told a Hong Kong audience overnight at the Asian Financing Forum that monetary policy needs to help produce the most "robust demand growth" the U.S. can reasonably achieve with appropriate measures for price stability, because of the consolidation of public sector finances that is needed, reports say.
U.S. Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke is also scheduled to make a speech on economic issues Monday at the University of Michigan. Other speeches from Fed officials are scheduled throughout the week. According to market analysts, U.S. retail- sales data due Tuesday and consumer price inflation data on Wednesday are worth keeping an eye on as well.
The same holds for Chinese data due out Friday, including gross domestic product for the fourth quarter, analysts say, any slowdown in China would likely have significant ramifications for gold demand given the important role China plays in the global gold market.
Silver for March delivery rose 70.2 cents, or 2.31 percent, to close at 31.11 dollars per ounce.