NEW YORK/LONDON - Gold prices rose on Monday, erasing all of the previous week's losses, as a weaker dollar and the resilience of a key chart level removed some downward pressure, while the return of Chinese buyers to the market also lent support.
Prices bounced after falling for a fourth week to a two-month low on Friday, following an upbeat reading of U.S. wage growth and unemployment that supported expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike in December, pushing the dollar and Treasury yields higher.
Gold's resilience above its 200-day moving average at $1,253 an ounce also provided some technical support. Meanwhile, the dollar fell below a 10-week high, while geopolitical concerns centred on North Korea and Spain supported gold prices.
Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,283.16 an ounce by 2:33 p.m. EDT (1833 GMT), while U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up 0.8 percent at $1,285.
"I think it's mostly technical in nature," said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, adding that geopolitical concerns remain and are also supportive.
Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker warned in an interview with the New York Times on Sunday that President Donald Trump risked setting the nation "on the path to World War Three" with reckless threats towards other countries.
Following data late Friday that showed speculators cut their bullish stance in COMEX gold and silver contracts for the third straight week, in the week to Oct. 3, Haworth said there was room for them to take new long positions.
"For the time being, gold may have bottomed out," ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said. "On Friday people were very reluctant to buy dollars, even though there were enough signals to do so ... and the dollar has come under some pressure again, which is being reflected currently in gold."
Expectations for a Fed rate hike, Boele added, are still providing some headwinds to gold, which, as a non-yielding asset, tends to suffer as interest rates rise.
China's central bank held off from adding to gold reserves for an 11th straight month in September, data showed on Monday.
On the physical markets, Chinese buyers returned after the Golden Week holiday, another potentially supportive factor for gold.
Among other metals, silver was up 0.7 percent at $16.89 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.3 percent at $915.75 an ounce and palladium was 0.8 percent higher at $927.50.