Yellen is scheduled to deliver a semi-annual monetary policy testimony to lawmakers on Wednesday and Thursday. The latest US economic reports, particularly for jobs, have been upbeat.

Spot gold is expected to rise into a range of between $1,225 and 1,231 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci projection analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst, Wang Tao. South Africa's rand hit a two-month low ZAR=D3 while Turkey's lira TRY= and Russia's rouble RUB= both lost nearly 1 percent to trade just off recent respective 2-1/2 month and six-month lows. The Alsi was up 0.9% at 52 663 points with resources (+2.1%) leading the pack. The company's shares are rising more than 5 percent. The stock gave up $1.28 to $78.65.

Snap, the parent of photo messaging app Snapchat, dropped 4.9 per cent following a downgrade from Morgan Stanley.

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), the soda and snacks giant, reported second-quarter earnings of $1.50 a share on revenue of $15.7 billion.

OIL: The price of oil rebounded after dipping earlier in the day. It ended 0.54 percent higher on Monday, taking the year-to-date gains to 12.7 percent.

Global benchmark Brent was up 0.2 percent at $46.76, following Friday's 2.9 percent slide.

There appeared to be an enhanced interest in financial stability concerns - citing stretched valuations in bond, equity, and commercial real estate prices - which was also one of the takeaways from the FOMC minutes last week.

As of 11 a.m. ET on Monday, the yield on the 10-year note was 2.38%, about even with Friday's close.

Increased drilling activity in the United States and uncertainty over Libyan and Nigerian production cuts clouded the future supply outlook, leaving US crude CLc1 down a third of a dollar at $44.13 a barrel and Brent LCOc1 at $46.57. A higher dollar, in which gold is priced, would also lower the value of the yellow metal.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX lost 0.1 percent, while France's CAC40 fell 0.5 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.6 percent to 20,195.48 on expectations the yen will weaken further against the dollar as the central bank strives to keep long-term bond yields low. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.5 percent, while the Kospi in South Korea climbed 0.6 percent. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at USD1.1408 compared to yesterday's USD1.1399.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 114.36 from 114.05 yen late Monday.