* Spot gold was little changed at $1,803.29 per ounce by 0017 GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,802.20.
* The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield hit an almost two-year high on Monday, as investors increasingly expect the Federal Reserve to begin tightening its policy with an interestrate hike as soon as March. [US/]
* Gold is considered a hedge against higher inflation, but the metal is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yieldingbullion.
* Investors now await inflation data due on Wednesday. U.S. core CPI is expected to have risen by 5.4%, its highest in decades, in December, and up from 4.9% in the prior month.
* The dollar edged higher against a basket of currencies on Monday, as recent employment data prompted some Wall Street banks to raise their estimates for how quickly the Fed willraise interest rates. [USD/]
* Goldman Sachs expects the Fed to raise interest rates four times this year and begin the process of reducing the size of its balance sheet as soon as July. The investment bank, whichearlier predicted the Fed would raise rates in March, June and September, now expects another hike in December. [nL4N2TQ2J1]
* Russia and the United States gave no sign of narrowing their differences on Ukraine and wider European security in talks in Geneva on Monday. [nL1N2TQ0FH]
* Spot silver was flat at $22.46 an ounce, platinum XPT= gained 1.1% to $950.17, and palladium XPD= rose 0.3% to $1,918.12.