Gold prices ticked lower on Monday as the dollar firmed, with a fresh set of data cementing fears that central banks across the globe would keep raising rates to contain sticky inflation.



* Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,853.19 per ounce, as of 0037 GMT, after climbing to its highest since Feb. 15 on Friday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,859.60.

* The dollar index edged higher, making bullion less affordable for buyers holding other currencies.

* Data on Friday showed the U.S. services sector grew at a steady clip in February, with new orders and employment rising to more than one-year highs, suggesting the economy continued to expand in the first quarter.

* San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said on Saturday if data on inflation and the labour market continued to come in hotter than expected, interest rates would need to go higher, and stay there longer than Fed policymakers had projected in December.

* Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said on Friday he could envision a scenario where the central bank pushes the U.S. benchmark policy interest rate to the 5.5%-5.75% range.

* Money markets expect the Fed's target rate to peak at 5.442% in September.

* Underlying inflation in the euro zone will stay high in the near term, so a 50 basis-point European Central Bank interest rate increase later this month is increasingly certain, ECB President Christine Lagarde told Spanish media group Vocento.

* Although gold is considered a hedge against inflation, interest rate hikes to bring down price pressures increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

* Spot silver fell 0.2% to $21.20 per ounce, platinum lost 0.7% to $970.84 and palladium slipped 0.6% to $1,443.65.




0930 UK All-Sector PMI Feb

1500 US Factory Orders MM Jan (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)