Gold sticks above $1,300 as global tensions grind on

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Gold held above $1,300 an ounce on Monday, as heightened tensions between the West and Russia, and violence in the Middle East, boosted its safe-haven appeal.

Investors were awaiting the Federal Reserve's policy meeting and second-quarter GDP data on Wednesday and non-farm payrolls figures on Friday, which will be used to gauge the strength of the economy and the outlook for the U.S. central bank's next cycle of interest rates tightening.

Spot gold was flat under $1,304 per ounce. The metal logged its second consecutive weekly drop on Friday on strong U.S. economic data. U.S. gold futures ended unchanged at $1,303.30 an ounce.

Chart: Precious Metals

Traders said the metal was likely to remain around $1,300 ahead of the expiration of Comex gold options for August later in the day.

The dollar hovered near six-month highs against a basket of major currencies on Monday, holding on to solid gains made last week after positive U.S. economic data.

Speculation that an improving employment sector in the United States could signal an early rate increase by the Federal Reserve has pressured gold over the past several sessions, briefly pushing it under $1,300 to its lowest level in five weeks at $1,287.46 on Thursday.

Fierce clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels continued on Sunday as Europe and the United States prepared economic sanctions on Russia over the conflict.

--By Reuters. For more information on precious metals, please click here.