Gold has held steady as investors await US employment data, while palladium has rallied to an eight-week high amid hopes of stronger demand from China.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, on Monday rose $US1.20 ($A1.24), or 0.1 per cent, to settle at $US1,315.80 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold prices have kept firm in the wake of last week's rally, as investors await the release of nonfarm payrolls data for September. The report, due Tuesday morning, was delayed by the 16-day federal government shutdown.

Many investors look to the employment gauge as a prognosticator of future monetary policy, as the Federal Reserve has said a stronger labour market is a key ingredient for winding down the central bank's stimulus program.

The program has buoyed gold prices by keeping interest rates low and burnishing the allure of zero-yielding assets such as precious metals.

Elsewhere, palladium prices rallied to an eight-week settlement high, as investors continue to hope for stronger demand from China's car manufacturing sector.

Palladium for December delivery rose $US9.60, or 1.3 per cent, to settle at $US750.25 a troy ounce on the Nymex. This was the highest settlement since August 23.

China, the world's largest car market, stepped up its imports of palladium by 25 per cent in September from a year earlier to 62,500 ounces, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. Palladium is widely used in car exhaust filters.

Still, with prices hovering near $US750 a troy ounce, palladium futures are likely to face pressure as Russia, the world's largest producer of the metal, steps up sales of its government stockpile, said Walter de Wet, director of commodity strategy with Standard Bank.

Settlements (ranges include open-outcry and electronic trading):

London PM Gold Fix: $1,317.50; previous PM $1,316.50

Dec gold $1,315.80, up $1.20; Range $1,312.00-$1,323.90

Dec silver $22.278, up 36.5 cents; Range $21.855-$22.335

Jan platinum $1,438.60, up $0.80; Range $1,431.30-$1,446.10

Dec palladium $750.25, up $9.60; Range $740.70-$752.35


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