Gold dips as dollar, stocks strengthen; but holds above $1,200

Gold extended losses below its highest level in a year on Monday as the dollar and equities strengthened, but the metal remained underpinned above $1,200 an ounce as caution in financial markets prompted investors to channel money into bullion.

The metal jumped to a one-year high earlier this month on turmoil in the stock markets and concerns over the global economy, but posted small losses last week on profit-taking and as equities consolidated.

Bullion remains one of the best performing assets of the year with gains of 15 percent as global uncertainties linger and fund inflows support the rally.

Top consumer China has been on the offer since its return from a week-long holiday last Monday, a sign they do not expect prices to go much higher and cannot be counted on to support the market with post-Lunar New Year demand set to falter.

WTI Crude gains further in Asia, Brent up nearly 2%

Crude oil prices gained further in Asia on Monday with the front-month contract up following a drop in U.S. drilling activity last week.

Last week, oil prices fell sharply on Friday, as market players continued to focus on a global supply glut and amid doubts over the likelihood of a collective cut happening anytime soon.

On Friday, consultant Baker Hughes said the U.S. rig count fell by 26 to 413 in the week ended Feb. 19.

But the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Thursday that U.S. crude stockpiles increased by 2.1 million barrels last week to an all-time high of 504.1 million barrels, underlining concerns over a domestic supply glut.

  Kenneth O'Keefe Speaks