April 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Monday, hovering near a seven-week peak hit in the previous session, as a softer dollar and a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields lifted demand for the safe-haven metal. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,781.75 per ounce by 0056 GMT, after hitting its highest since Feb.25 at $1,783.55 on Friday. * U.S. gold futures edged 0.2% higher to $1,783 per ounce. * The dollar index was languishing near a one-month low against its rivals, making gold less expensive for other currency holders. * Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields edged lower towards multi-weeks low touched last week. Low bond returns reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. * Asian shares hovered near 1-1/2-week highs on Monday helped by expectations that monetary policy will remain accommodative the world over. * SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3% to 1,019.66 tonnes on Friday from 1,022.86 tonnes on Thursday. * On the physical side, elevated domestic prices and renewed coronavirus restrictions due to a surge in infections dulled physical gold purchases in India, while China stepped up bullion imports as demand gradually rebooted. * China has given commercial banks permission to import large amounts of gold into the country, five sources familiar with the matter said. * Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold and raised them in silver contracts in the week to April 13, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. * Silver rose 0.4% to $26.06 per ounce. Palladium eased 0.5% to $2,763.22. Platinum gained 0.5% to $1,209.21. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.