By Gina Lee – Gold was up on Monday morning in Asia, with risk appetite decreasing as concerns over China Evergrande Group’s (HK:3333) debt situation, and its potential economic impact, continue.

Gold futures were up 0.43% to $1,759.30 by 11:40 PM ET (3:40 AM GMT).

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development tightened scrutiny of China Evergrande’s bank accounts to ensure funds are used to complete housing projects and not diverted to pay creditors. The developer missed a payment on offshore bonds during the previous week, with a second payment due later in the week.

Its electric-car unit, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group, will also not proceed with a proposed issue of CNY-denominated shares.

Demand for physical gold in China, a top consumer, rose during the previous week as investors sought safety in the safe-haven yellow metal as they monitor the ongoing situation at China Evergrande.

However, benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields climbed to their highest since early July 2021, which capped further gains for the yellow metal.

On the central bank front, European Central Bank (EBC) President Christine Lagarde will speak on Tuesday. Lagarde will be joined by Bank of England (BOE) Governor Andrew Bailey, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at an ECB forum panel a day later.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will join Powell to testify at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday. The House Financial Services Committee hearing will follow on Thursday.

SPDR Gold Trust (P:GLD) said its holdings increased 0.1% to 993.52 tons on Friday from 992.65 tons the day before.

In other precious metals, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed that speculators cut their net-long positions in COMEX silver by 13,178 contracts to 900 in the week to Sep. 21. Silver rose 0.9%, platinum jumped 1% and palladium inched up 0.1%.

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