Gold prices rose slightly on Monday, but trade was quiet as many investors stayed on the sidelines with European and other major metals markets closed since late last week for Christmas.

A slightly weaker U.S. dollar prompted some bargain hunting in bullion, which had fallen to a seven-week low of $1,074.10 last week due to a sharp rise of the dollar against the euro.

It's the end of the year, and the gold market is expected to be quiet, said Leonard Kaplan, president of Illinois-based Prospector Asset Management.

However, Kaplan said he expected lower gold prices in early 2010 because of a resurgent dollar.

Spot gold was at $1,105.65 an ounce as of 3:14 p.m. EST (2014 GMT), compared with $1,103.80, the last quote in New York late on Thursday. It has risen more than 25 percent this year.

U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled up $3.10 at $1,107.90 an ounce on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Higher oil prices because of colder weather in the United States and economic optimism also supported gold.

In the currency market, the euro held firm, despite falling slightly against the dollar to $1.4386. The euro was on the mend after falling as far as $1.4218 last week, its lowest level since early September.

Gold maintained its momentum, led by gains in the futures market. The euro's firmness continues to be in favor, said a manager at a Japanese trading company.

A weaker dollar makes the precious metal less costly for non-U.S. investors.

Physical trade is slow, but there is general caution over volatility in the metal's prices in a seasonally thinned-out market toward the year end, said the Japanese trading company manager.

European participants were expected to mostly stay away from trading as British markets were closed for the Boxing Day holiday. Markets in India, the world's biggest gold consumer, and other Commonwealth countries were also shut.

In Japan, however, it was the last business day of the year for many companies, and trading will resume there on January 4.

Among other precious metals, spot platinum was at $1,478.50 an ounce, up 1.4 percent from New York's last quote of $1,458. Palladium was up 0.9 percent at $387.50.

The two metals rallied last week after news that London-based ETF Securities Ltd had moved closer to obtain regulatory approval to launch the first U.S. platinum exchange-traded funds.

The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, said its holdings stood at 1,132.708 tonnes on Friday, unchanged since December 21. Holdings hit a record high of 1,134.03 tonnes on June 1.