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Gold gains on tepid dollar; G-20 meeting in focus

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Gold prices rose on Monday as the dollar weakened, with uncertainties over the outcome of an upcoming G20 meeting and the future course for Britain's exit from the European Union providing further support for bullion.

Spot gold was up 0.07 percent to $1,223.45 per ounce. U.S. gold futures were up 0.02 percent at $1,223.60 per ounce.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina at the end of this week.

Officials from some G20 countries, anxious to see a swift end to the Sino-U.S. trade war, are hopeful but not confident the meeting may yield at least a partial ceasefire.

"We have the G20 meeting coming this weekend and the question is whether the U.S. and China can strike a deal," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen, adding gold could be set to benefit anyway because he believes the dollar is "coming to the end of its strong phase."

At the same time, investors are keeping a close eye on the latest political developments in Europe. The euro strengthened against the dollar after the European Union and Britain agreed on Sunday to a Brexit deal, and following signs Italy is willing to reach a compromise over its 2019 budget plans.

"Ahead of the G20, we have plenty of uncertainty that is providing some underlying support - Brexit, which now goes to vote in the UK parliament, and the geo-political event on the Black Sea between Russia and Ukraine," Hansen said.

Gold is considered a safe asset in uncertain times. However, analysts have said its direction in the near term will largely be dictated by the dollar's movement. A weaker dollar makes gold more attractive for investors using other currencies to buy the metal.

"The rise in gold this morning is primarily being driven by the decline in the dollar," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA in London.

Among other precious metals, silver climbed 0.34 percent to $14.28 an ounce and platinum rose 0.55 percent to $843.10.

Palladium gained 2.72 percent at $1,149.45 an ounce. Prices fell about 3 percent in the previous session, their biggest one-day percentage decline since Aug. 15.