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Gold was down on Monday morning in Asia but remained near the seven-week peak hit during the previous session as retreating U.S. Treasury yields boosted demand for the safe-haven yellow metal.

Gold futures edged down 0.12% to $1778 by 11:58 PM ET (3:58 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, edged up on Thursday but remained near a one-month low.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields fell towards multi-weeks low touched during the previous week.

Investors’ worries about the ever-rising number of COVID-19 numbers globally, alongside the number of global deaths from the virus topping the 3 million mark, also capping gold’s losses.

A slower-than-hoped-for COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the spike in mutant COVID-19 strains also remain concerning. reporting its first two cases of the mutated N501Y COVID-19 strain over the weekend. Hong Kong on Sunday banned flights into the city from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, after reporting its first two cases of the mutated N501Y COVID-19 strain.

On the central bank front, the European Central Bank will hand down its policy decision later in the week, with the Reserve Bank of Australia releasing the minutes from its latest meeting on Tuesday.

On the physical side, gold purchases in India decreased over elevated domestic prices and renewed COVID-19 restrictions as the country continues to see a surge in cases.

Meanwhile, China increased its bullion imports in a sign that demand could be increasing. Commercial banks were also reportedly authorized to import large amounts of gold into the country.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission also said on Friday that hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and raised them in silver contracts in the week to Apr. 13.

In other precious metals, silver rose 0.4% and platinum gained 0.5%, while palladium eased 0.5%.

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