Gold prices edged higher on Monday as worries over a surge in coronavirus infections in the United States dented optimism about signs of a nascent economic recovery, prompting investors to seek the safe-haven metal.
* Spot gold was up 0.1% to $1,775.97 per ounce by 0031 GMT. U.S. gold futures GCv1 eased 0.2% to $1,787.30.
* In the first four days of July alone, 15 U.S. states reported record increases in new cases of COVID-19, which has infected nearly 3 million Americans and killed about 130,000, according to a Reuters tally.
* More than 11.35 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus worldwide so far.
* Gold has also been benefiting from lower interest rates around the world and widespread stimulus measure from major central banks as it is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
* Meanwhile, the dollar index held steady against a basket of major currencies on Monday.
* Investors' focus shifts to U.S. services sector activity data for June due later in the day.
* The Institute for Supply Management's index for non-manufacturing activity is expected to rise to 50.0 in June from 45.4 in the previous month, indicating activity stopped shrinking.
* Asian shares held near four-month highs as investors counted on super-cheap liquidity and fiscal stimulus to sustain the global economic recovery even as surging coronavirus cases delayed reopenings across the United States.
* Palladium fell 0.3% to $1,916.98 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.8% to $806.30. Silver eased 0.1% to $18.02.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 Germany Industrial Orders MM May 1345 US Markit Comp, Svcs Final PMIs June 1400 US ISM N-Mfg PMI June
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((Brijesh.Patel1@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067493865; Reuters Messaging: Brijesh.Patel1.firstname.lastname@example.org))