Gold rally runs out of steam before $1,600 mark

Spot gold added 90c an ounce on Monday in tepid trading to end at $1,592.50 an ounce after failing to breach the psychologically important $1,600 an ounce level in morning trade.

Traders said support given to Greece to stay in the Eurozone at the weekend's G8 meeting and a stronger dollar hurt the yellow metal.

Reuters reports on Friday US data showed "hedge funds and other money managers liquidated more than $2 billion in US gold futures over a week."

That could come back to haunt them as gold enjoyed a $50 an ounce rally on Thursday and Friday, recovering from an intra-day low Wednesday of $1,528 as investors sold the precious metal to cover losses elsewhere.

That level briefly signaled a bear market with the precious metal 20% below the record of $1,913 hit on August 23 last year.

The sharp turnaround in sentiment in the bullion market has some asking whether the rally is a dead cat bounce or perhaps the best chance to buy before prices rocket.

Gold bulls say a new round of monetary easing in the US – a distinct possibility – and possible similar programs in the crisis-ridden Eurozone will restore the yellow metal's status as an inflation hedge and wealth preserver.

Flooding markets with cheap money would also hurt the dollar, further boosting the metal's price.

Read more about QE in the EU, Grexit and Operation Twist and the effect on the gold price here >>