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Gold climbs to fresh session tops, around $1240 level

   •  The USD retreats farther from 1-1/2 year tops and helped regain traction.
   •  Fed rate hike uncertainty /cautious mood provided an additional boost.

After a modest bearish gap opening, gold managed to regain traction and was now seen building on Friday's late rebound from 1-1/2 week tops. 

The US Dollar retreated farther from 1-1/2 year tops, touched in the aftermath of stronger US monthly retail sales report on Friday, and helped the dollar-denominated commodity to reverse an early Asian session dip to $1236 area.

Uncertainty over the Fed's monetary policy outlook for 2019 kept the USD bulls on the defensive at the start of a new trading week and turned out to be one of the key factors underpinning demand for the non-yielding yellow metal.

Adding to this, mounting fears over the outlook for global growth continued weighing on investors' sentiment, evident from a cautious mood around European equity markets, extended some additional support to the precious metal's perceived safe-haven status. 

Despite a combination of supporting factors, bulls still seemed reluctant to place any aggressive bets and might prefer to wait for the latest FOMC monetary policy update, scheduled to be announced during the US trading session on Wednesday.

In the meantime, broader market risk-sentiment and the USD price dynamics might continue to act as key determinants of the commodity's momentum amid absent relevant market moving economic releases from the US.

Technical levels to watch

A follow-through up-move beyond the $1242-43 region could get extended further towards the $1248-50 supply zone, above which the commodity seems all set to resume with its prior appreciating move. On the flip side, the $1236-35 region now becomes immediate support to defend, which if broken might accelerate the fall further towards $1227 horizontal support.

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