Gold and silver prices advanced on Monday as concerns over rise in fresh Covid-19 cases drove investors towards the safe-haven metal.

MCX Gold futures were up 0.24 per cent at Rs 48,305 per 10 gram in the early trade, while MCX Silver futures traded 0.52 per cent higher at RS 49,494 per 1 kg.

Relentless spread of the coronavirus intensified investor fears about a delay in global economic recovery and weighed on risk appetite, driving inflows into safe-haven assets.

The outlook for a global economic recovery over the past month has worsened or at best stayed about the same, according to a firm majority of economists in Reuters polls.

The yellow metal is used as a safe investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.

Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust, holdings rose 0.3 per cent to 1,178.90 tonnes on Friday, while speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to June 23.

Total number of Covid-19 patients in India crossed 5.49 lakh while fatalities climbed to above 16400 levels.

Globally, gold prices too gained amid fears of rising Covid-19 cases, with the yellow metal nearing the $1,800-mark.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,773.43 per ounce by 0259 GMT. Prices were $5.63 shy of a near eight-year high of $1,779.06, hit last week.

US gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,781.60.

On the technical side, spot gold is poised to break a resistance at $1,778 per ounce and rise to $1,789, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, palladium gained 1.7% to $1,891.42 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.6% to $796 and silver climbed 0.7% to $17.88.

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