Gold ticked up on Monday after a drop in the U.S. dollar spurred bargain hunting, with firmer stock markets helping investors shrug off a slight decline in ETF holdings.

Jewellers were on the sidelines after buying heavily on Friday, when bullion fell to a five-week low. With U.S. investors away for a holiday, the metal was likely to trade in a tight range of $1,210 to $1,215 an ounce.

Gold XAU= rose $2.95 to $1,213.55 by 0440 GMT, having fallen below the psychological level of $1,200 on Friday. The metal struck a record above $1,264 in late June on worries the European debt crisis would spread and the U.S. economy was slowing.

I wouldn't say that jewellery or physical buying would really provide support because prices are still relatively high. But of course people are buying on dips, said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

I don't foresee it dropping below $1,200. I think on a long-term basis, I would still be bullish, she added.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery GCQ0 added $5.3 an ounce to $1,213. The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, said its holdings slipped to 1,318.915 tonnes by July 2 from 1,319.219 on July 1. The holdings hit a record at 1,320.436 tonnes on June 29. [GOL/SPDR]

For people to really think that investment demand for gold is declining, it has to drop a lot more than what we are seeing right now, said Ong.

The dollar was at its lowest in nearly two months on Monday and the euro paused after last week's boost from unwinding of short and leveraged positions, with traders and analysts seeing scope for it to squeeze a bit higher. [USD/]

The MSCI index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.2 percent, though gains in resources and technology shares were mostly offset by declines in consumer staples, financials and telecom stocks. [MKTS/GLOB]

Bargain hunters have pushed up the gold market. I don't see much demand from the jewellery sector. They had bought a lot on Friday, said a dealer in Hong Kong.

In the absence of U.S. players, the market may have a chance to edge up in Asia but then drop again when Europe starts trading.

Oil rebounded from three-week lows on Monday, staying above $72 as the market assessed the implications of a slowing global economic recovery on energy use. [O/R]

 Precious metals prices at 0440 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Turnover Spot Gold 1213.55 2.95 +0.24 10.76 Spot Silver 17.88 0.08 +0.45 6.24 Spot Platinum 1510.00 13.50 +0.90 2.93 Spot Palladium 429.00 -1.00 -0.23 5.80 TOCOM Gold 3441.00 12.00 +0.35 5.58 31886 TOCOM Platinum 4299.00 -3.00 -0.07 -1.87 10858 TOCOM Silver 51.10 -0.40 -0.78 -1.16 305 TOCOM Palladium 1231.00 -9.00 -0.73 5.67 277 Euro/Dollar 1.2539 Dollar/Yen 87.90 TOCOM prices in yen per gram. Spot prices in $ per ounce. (Editing by Michael Urquhart)