CHICAGO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended higher Monday for a third session in four, as traders prepared for a busy week of earnings and economic reports.
The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 1.2 dollars, or 0.09 percent, to settle at 1,315.8 dollars per ounce. Some market analysts believe that gold is to start the week mainly on follow-through momentum from last week's rally.
This week, financial markets will look to the release of the monthly U.S. nonfarm payroll data on Tuesday, which had been delayed due to the 16 days of government shutdown. Some analysts say the jobs situation is a key data point for the U.S. central bank, while the U.S. Federal Reserve insists it won't even think about raising interest rates until the jobless rate comes down.
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said Monday the central bank could begin to reduce the pace of its asset-purchase program in December, but would need several good economic reports before acting, according to reports.
The Fed's quantitative-easing program has helped support gold prices as it tends to pressure the U.S. dollar and can lead to inflation. Gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation.
Silver for December delivery rose 36.5 cents, or 1.67 percent, to close at 22.278 dollars per ounce.