* * $2,100 price level to watch for gold, analyst says
Gold prices rose on Monday to their highest since mid-March, as the Russia-Ukraine crisis soured risk sentiment and drove investors to the safety of bullion.
Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,984.58 per ounce, as of 0202 GMT, hitting its highest since March 14. U.S. gold futures were up 0.7% at $1,987.70.
Seems like there is a bit of risk aversion in the market, with some overhang from the Russia-Ukraine situation, said Ilya Spivak, a currency strategist at DailyFX, while cautioning thin liquidity could possibly exaggerate price action.
Ukrainian soldiers resisted a Russian ultimatum to lay down arms on Sunday in the pulverised port of Mariupol, which Moscow said its forces had almost completely seized in what would be its biggest prize of the nearly two-month war.
Bullion is considered a safe store of value during times of political and economic crisis.
Gold posted its second straight weekly gain on Thursday, buoyed by safe-haven demand amid the Ukraine crisis and soaring inflation. Most markets were closed on Friday for a holiday. Restraining advances in zero-yield gold on Monday, yields on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note firmed to their highest since December 2018.
While another test of $2,000 is likely the path of least resistance for gold, $2,100 is the bigger, more potent figure to keep an eye on, as there are some meaningful peaks there that would need to be overcome to make the case for lasting gains, Spivak said.
Meanwhile, China's economy grew at a faster-than-expected clip in the first quarter, official data showed on Monday, expanding 4.8% year-on-year, but the risk of a sharp slowdown over coming months has risen as sweeping COVID-19 curbs and the Ukraine war take a toll.
Spot silver rose 0.7% to $25.87 per ounce, platinum gained 1.2% to $1,001.57, and palladium climbed 1.6% to $2,406.85.
(Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)