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gold_barsSINGAPORE: Gold prices climbed more than half a percent on Monday, buoyed by easing from China's central bank and hopes that Greece will seal a deal on the bailout at a meeting with euro zone officials later in the day.

Spot gold gained 0.6 percent to $1,733.29 an ounce by 0018 GMT, reversing losses from the previous session.

US gold rose half a percent to $1,735.20.

Gold, along with riskier assets, was encouraged by easing from China's central bank, which cut the required reserve ratio over the weekend, boosting lending capacity.

Optimism on a deal later in the day between Greece and euro zone finace ministers on the second bailout for Greece also helped buoy the sentiment.

Money managers in gold futures and options reduced their net long position in the week of Feb. 14, their first decline in five weeks, as investors unwound some safe-haven bets due to optimism surrounding the Greek debt crisis.

US stocks edged higher on Friday, but investors stayed cautious before a long holiday weekend when hopes are set for Greece's bailout plan to be approved.

The yen fell to six-month lows on the greenback on Monday, while commodity currencies jumped after China's central bank joined other major counterparts globally in stimulating growth.

Copyright Reuters, 2012

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