By Reuters Staff

March 15 (Reuters) – Gold prices gained on Monday as the

passage of a U.S. stimulus bill stoked inflation risks, although

a resultant bounce in Treasury yields kept gains in check.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,732.02 per ounce by 0134

GMT, while U.S. gold futures for April delivery rose 0.7%

to $1,730.90 per ounce.

* Yields on benchmark 10-year notes held near their highest

in more than a year on continued U.S. economic optimism after a

$1.9 trillion recovery package was signed into law last week.

* Gold is generally considered a hedge against inflation,

although higher bond yields have challenged that status recently

as they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding

bullion.

* U.S. producer prices increased strongly in February,

leading to the largest annual gain in nearly 2-1/2 years, data

showed on Friday.

* The number of Americans filing new jobless claims fell to

a four-month low last week, while the U.S. market morale rose to

its highest in a year in early March.

* Investors piled into equities, while pulling money out of

gold and bonds in the week up to March 10, data from BofA Global

Research showed.

* SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed

exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3% to 1,052.07

tonnes on Friday from 1,055.27 tonnes on Thursday.

* Hedge funds and money managers slashed their bullish

positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to

March 9, data showed said on Friday.

* Silver rose 0.9% to $26.14, platinum rose 1%

to $1,217.37, while palladium fell 0.1% to $2,369.17.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0200 China Urban Investment (YTD) YY Feb

0200 China Industrial Output YY Feb

0200 China Retail Sales YY Feb

1100 EU Reserve Assets Total Feb

1400 Euro zone finance ministers meet

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika

Syamnath)