- Gold prices posted solid gains on Monday after a data out of the Chinese housing sector fueled concerns that the global economy still battles headwinds that will prompt the Federal Reserve to very gradually taper its monetary stimulus programs.

Stimulus tools such as the Fed''s $65 billion in monthly bond purchases tend to weaken the dollar by driving down interest rates, which bolsters gold''s appeal as a hedge.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded at $1,337.30 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 1.04%, up from a session low of $1,319.10 and off a high of $1,339.10.

The April contract settled up 0.51% at $1,323.60 on Friday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,307.70 a troy ounce, Thursday''s low, and resistance at $1,361.70, the high from Oct. 28.

Data released earlier revealed that home prices in major Chinese cities rose 9.6% in January, short of December''s 9.9% growth.

Growth fell for the first time in 14 months in January, which fueled already growing fears that the world’s second largest economy is slowing as the government tries to address bad loans and weak lending institutions.

While the data did spark safe-haven greenback demand, U.S. monetary policy concerns bolstered the yellow metal.

The data, which came in wake of a string of soft U.S. economic indicators, convinced investors that even though the U.S. economy continues to improve, potholes will steer the Fed to very gradually taper its dollar-weakening stimulus programs this year, while tightening remains far off on the horizon.

Meanwhile, silver for May delivery was up 1.19% and trading at US$22.075 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery were down 0.71% at US$3.237 a pound.

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