Gold firmed for the fourth straight session on Monday to its highest in more than two weeks, as the dollar extended losses and expectations rose that the Federal Reserve will hold off until at least September to raise interest rates.

Gold had dipped to a four-month low before the Fed met last week as concerns mounted over higher U.S. interest rates, which could dent demand for non-interest-bearing bullion.

Spot gold hit its highest since March 6 at $1,190.70 an ounce and was up 0.7 percent, by 3:05 p.m. EDT (1705 GMT).

U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $3.10 at $1,187.70 an ounce.

The dollar fell 0.9 percent against a basket of leading currencies. It came under pressure after the Fed last week downgraded its economic growth and inflation projections, signaling it is in no rush to push borrowing costs to more normal levels.

Later in the day, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said the central bank is “widely expected” to begin raising interest rates this year, though the policy path remains uncertain.

Platinum rose 1.1 percent to $1,146.75 an ounce, while silver gained 1.4 percent at $16.96 an ounce and palladium was down 0.5 percent at $772.50 an ounce

Source : Reuters