Gold prices gained nearly 1 percent on Monday after Greece's politicians sealed a deal to form a coalition government, while continued uncertainty about resolving the zone's debt crisis supported safe-haven demand in bullion.

Greece's politicians agreed on Sunday to form a unity government to approve a euro zone bailout, but uncertainty over who will lead the new Greek government amid bitter political divisions and the unspecified timing of early elections remained.

Adding to this gloomy outlook were events in Italy, where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has one day left before a parliament vote on public finance after his government failed to adopt reforms to defuse a dangerous debt crisis.

People are waiting for the situation to play out in Europe, said Dick Poon, manager of precious metals at Heraeus in Hong Kong. Right now they are unwilling to put too many bets in either equities or commodities.

Poon said gold has been pushing higher by some fund buying, albeit on a modest scale.

Spot gold rose to $1,769.79 an ounce, its highest since Sept 22, before easing to $1,768.50 by 0252 GMT, up 0.8 percent from the previous close.

U.S. gold also rose 0.8 percent, to $1,770.40.

Money managers, including hedge funds and other large speculators, raised their bullish bets in gold futures and options in the week to Nov. 1 as the price of bullion surged to its highest in five weeks, above $1,750 an ounce, data on Friday showed.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, gained 1.513 tonnes on the day to 1,245.064 tonnes by Nov. 4, highest in more than a month.

Gold prices have found good support on the downside from physical demand with interest emerging from the festival season in India as well as China, though volumes have slowed down, noted Barclays Capital.

However, prices have struggled to gain traction as they are caught between the need for liquidity, macro uncertainty and currency movement, it said in a research note.

Gold flow from Hong Kong to mainland China in September jumped sixfold on the year to 56,896 kilograms, boosting the total amount of gold flow in the first nine months to 201,068 kilograms, more than double the quantity a year earlier, said Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department.

Precious metals prices 0252 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume

Spot Gold 1768.50 14.65 +0.84 24.59

Spot Silver 34.42 0.32 +0.94 11.54

Spot Platinum 1635.99 5.83 +0.36 -7.44

Spot Palladium 656.97 5.69 +0.87 -17.83

TOCOM Gold 4446.00 19.00 +0.43 19.23 44773

TOCOM Platinum 4134.00 11.00 +0.27 -11.97 7092

TOCOM Silver 85.60 -0.80 -0.93 5.68 519

TOCOM Palladium 1664.00 -4.00 -0.24 -20.65 100

COMEX GOLD DEC1 1770.40 14.30 +0.81 24.55 8344

COMEX SILVER DEC1 34.47 0.39 +1.13 11.41 1187

Euro/Dollar 1.3774

Dollar/Yen 78.10

TOCOM prices in yen per gram. Spot prices in $ per ounce.

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months