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Gold futures settled lower on Monday, but still managed to hold near a four-week high.

A sluggish dollar and lower bond yields helped limit the yellow metal’s decline.

The dollar index, which climbed to 92.79, dropped to 9266 around noon.

Gold futures for December ended down by $7.30 or about 0.4% at $1,812.20 an ounce.

Gold futures gained about 1.7% last week.

Silver futures for December ended lower by $0.104 at $24.006 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $4.3755 per pound, up $0.0435 from the previous close.

A report released by the National Association of Realtors on Monday unexpectedly showed a continued slump in pending home sales in the U.S. in the month of July.

NAR said its pending home sales index tumbled by 1.8% to 110.7 in July after plunging by 2% to 112.7 in June. The continued decrease surprised economists, who had expected pending home sales to rise by 0.4%.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell struck a dovish tone on monetary policy, during his speech at the Jackson Hole symposium on Friday. He signaled the central bank is in no rush to raise rates. Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

In a virtual speech Friday, Powell said that the central bank is likely to start scaling back bond purchase program this year, but didn’t provide timing for withdrawal.

Powell noted that there is “much ground to cover to reach maximum employment,” a criteria to begin tapering.


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