Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose slightly Monday despite hints of scaledown in bond purchase by Federal Reserve officials. The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 5.2 U. S. dollars, or 0.42 percent, to settle at 1,234.2 dollars per ounce. President of Richmond Federal Reserve Bank Jeffrey Lacker said Monday that he expected Fed policy makers would debate cutting back on the current 85 billion U.S. dollars monthly pace of asset purchases. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard also said Monday the best move may be a small scaledown in bond purchases in December. The talk of scaleback of bond purchases always remains a negative factor for gold price, market analysts say. However, the fact that gold failed to break previous lows last week is a welcome sign for investors, which may be the reason behind Monday' s slight rise of gold prices, they say. Analysts say that gold must break a short-term bearish trend before it can embrace a true rally. Silver for March delivery remained unchanged from the previous trading day to close at 19.523 dollars per ounce. Platinum for January delivery climbed 12.2 dollars, or 0.9 percent, to close at 1,368.5 dollars per ounce.