Gold futures ended higher on Monday, extending their winning run to a fifth straight session.

However, with traders largely staying away on the sidelines during the holiday season, activity was subdued and prices moved in a very narrow range around the flat line for much of the trading session.

Rising political tensions in North East Asia and air strikes in the Middle East, and the dollar’s weakness supported gold’s rise.

The dollar index, which declined to 96.61, was last seen at 96.72, down nearly 0.2% from previous close.

Gold futures for February ended up $0.50 at $1,518.60 an ounce, after moving between $1513.50 and $1,519.10.

Gold futures for February ended up $3.7u0, or about 0.2%, at $1,518.10 an ounce, on Friday.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.058 at $18.001 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $0.28430 per pound, gaining $0.0050 for the session.

Investors await the final details of a promised trade deal between the United States and China, which is expected to be signed in January.

In economic news, a report released by the National Association of Realtors showed pending home sales in the U.S. rebounded in the month of November.

NAR said its pending home sales index jumped 1.2% to 108.5 in November after falling by a revised 1.3% in October. Economists had expected pending home sales to surge up by 1.1%.

Meanwhile, a report released by MNI Indicators said Chicago-area business activity continued to contract in the month of December. However, the pace of contraction slowed from the previous month.

The report said MNI’s Chicago business barometer climbed to 48.9 in December from 46.3 but it indicates a contraction in regional business activity. Economists had expected the barometer to rise to 48.0.

The increase by the business barometer was partly due to a jump by the production, which surged up to a four-month high of 47.2.

On the other hand, the report said the new orders index edged down to 49.1 in December, while the employment index fell to 47.4.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com