Gold prices inch higher on softer dollar

Gold prices edged up on Monday and hovered near the key $1,800-level, as a softer U.S. dollar made the greenback-priced bullion cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,800.02 per ounce as of 0027 GMT. Prices hit their highest level since Aug. 10 at $1,804.46 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,812.60.

* The dollar index was down 0.1%.

* U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November and increased wages, shrugging off mounting worries of a recession, but that will probably not stop the Federal Reserve from slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes starting this month.

* Lower interest rates tend to be beneficial for gold as it reduces the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

* The London Bullion Market Association(LBMA) is creating a database of Russian gold bars held by banks in London to help prevent sanctions evasion by Russian companies or the Russian central bank, the industry group said on Friday.

* Physical gold demand stalled in India last week on higher prices, while premiums fell in top consumer China as COVID-19 restrictions dulled activity.

* Spot silver gained 0.5% to $23.25, platinum rose 0.8% to $1,022.74 and palladium edged up 0.5% to $1,908.32.

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