By Doris Yu

Investing.com – Gold was up on Monday morning in Asia, boosted by a weakening dollar. The latest U.S. jobs report also calmed investor fears of an earlier-than-expected interest rate hike.

Gold futures were up 0.24% to $1,787.55 by 10:39 PM ET (2:39 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, edged down on Monday.

On the demand side, central banks including Serbia, Thailand, and Ghana are increasing their gold holdings due to signs of accelerating inflation. “Long term, gold is the most significant guardian and guarantor of protection against inflationary and other forms of financial risks,” the National Bank of Serbia told Bloomberg.

According to the U.S. jobs report, released on Friday, nonfarm payrolls increased by 850,000 in June thanks to rising wages and more incentives. It was higher than the 700,000 figure in forecasts prepared by Investing.com.

Investors are now focusing on further economic data due later in the week for clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next move in its monetary policy. They also await the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy decision, due to be handed down on Tuesday, and the Fed's minutes from its latest meeting, due a day later.

In Asia, Japan’s services purchasing managers index services PMI for June was at a higher-than-expected 48. Meanwhile, data released earlier in the day said that China’s Caixin services PMI in June was 50.3, below May’s 55.1 figure.

Gold in India was sold at a premium in the previous week, the first time it did so in more than two months. Demand increased after the second-largest consumer of gold slightly eased its COVID-19 curbs.

In other precious metals, silver edged down 0.2% and platinum slid 0.3%, while palladium gained 0.3%.

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