Gold prices rallied to $1,679 per ounce Monday morning US time – up nearly 1% on last week's close – while stocks, commodities and the euro also gained and government bond prices fell, after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said "continued accommodative polices" are still needed to support the US economy.
Silver prices meantime rose to $32.76 per ounce – up 1.5% from where they ended Friday.
"A wide range of indicators suggests that the job market has been improving, which is a welcome development indeed," Bernanke told the National Association for Business Economics annual conference on Monday morning.
"Still, conditions remain far from normal, as shown, for example, by the high level of long-term unemployment and the fact that jobs and hours worked remain well below pre-crisis peaks."
Bernanke added that a fall in the unemployment rate "will likely require a more-rapid expansion of production and demand from consumers and businesses, a process that can be supported by continued accommodative policies."
"We do expect demand to pick up in April as the Akshaya Tritiya festival in late April is fast approaching," De Wet adds, noting that Akshaya Tritiya is India's second-biggest festival for buying gold.
Indian gold imports will drop to 665 tonnes this year – a drop of nearly one third on 2011's figure –according to the median estimate in a poll of importers, jewelers and brokerages conducted by newswire Reuters.
European leaders are set to expand the size of the region's so-called 'firewall', according to press reports Monday.
German chancellor Angela Merkel and finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have dropped their opposition to combining unused funds in the €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility with the €500 billion European Stability Mechanism when the latter becomes operational in July, German newspaper Der Spiegel reports.
Accounting for funds already committed to Greece, Ireland and Portugal, the move would boost the amount of bailout funds available to around €740 billion, according to the Financial Times.
At last month's G20 meeting in Mexico, European leaders were told they should do more towards solving the Eurozone crisis before asking for a greater contribution from the International Monetary Fund.
Eurozone finance ministers are due to meet this Friday in Copenhagen.
"The key thing now is to conclude the comprehensive crisis response," said Olli Rehn, European Union commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, over the weekend.
Elsewhere in Europe, Italian prime minister Mario Monti warned this weekend that Spain "hasn't paid enough attention to its public accounts".
"It doesn't take much to recreate the risks of contagion."