Gold prices edged higher on Monday after rising over 1% in the previous session following less-hawkish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, with uncertainty around the U.S. debt ceiling outcome and over the banking sector's stability adding to safe-haven bullion's gains.



* Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,979.79 per ounce by 0047 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,981.00.

* The dollar index eased 0.1%, making gold more affordable for overseas buyers.

* U.S. President Joe Biden and House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet to discuss the debt ceiling on Monday, after a "productive" phone call as the president headed back to Washington, the two sides said on Sunday.

* Fed Chair Powell said on Friday it is still unclear if U.S. interest rates will need to rise further, as central bank officials balance uncertainty about the impact of past hikes in borrowing costs and recent bank credit tightening with the fact that inflation is proving hard to control.

* Non-interest-bearing bullion tends to become less attractive in a high-interest-rate environment.

* Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said that he could support holding interest rates steady at the central bank's next meeting in June.

* Markets are now pricing in a 90.8% chance of the Fed standing pat on rates next month, the CME FedWatch tool showed.

* Shares of U.S. regional lenders fell on Friday after CNN reported that U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told bank chief executives that more mergers may be necessary following a series of bank failures.

* Spot silver ticked up 0.1% to $23.86 per ounce, platinum was flat at $1,062.94 and palladium rose 0.2% to $1,516.50.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0115 China Loan Prime Rate 1Y, 5Y May 1400 EU Consumer Confid. Flash May (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)