April 28, 2020 / 3:39 PM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips to 1-week low on profit-taking, economies opening

 (Adds comments, updates prices)
    * U.S. states with fewer cases ease restrictions
    * Worldwide coronavirus cases more than 3 million
    * Consumer confidence index drops sharply in April
    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread,
open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
 in an external browser

    By Eileen Soreng
    April 28 (Reuters) - Gold fell to a one-week low on Tuesday
as investors took profits, with bullion further weighed down by
upbeat plans in some countries to loosen restrictions put in
place due to the coronavirus.
    Spot gold        fell 0.7% to $1,702.40 per ounce by 3:23
p.m. EDT (1923 GMT), after falling as much as 1.4% earlier in
the session. U.S. gold futures         settled down 0.1% at
$1,722.20. 
    "It's been a bit of thrust-and-parry between $1,700-$1,730;
buyers below but sellers above," said Tai Wong, head of base and
precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.
    "I think there is profit-taking from investors though as
producers don't have enough to sell to really stanch a rally,
especially with mine shutdowns and other supply bottlenecks."
    Data earlier in the day showed U.S. consumer confidence
tumbled to near a six-year low in April and the pandemic was
severely limiting the flow of goods between countries, with
exports from the United States collapsing and imports from other
nations continuing to decline.             
    Stock markets across the globe managed to rise on Tuesday,
but conflicting measures and warnings on the coronavirus
pandemic cast an uneasy tone.            
    From Italy to New Zealand, governments announced the easing
of restrictions. More parts of the United States looked set to
restart business, though Britain said it is too dangerous to
relax a stringent lockdown for fear of a second outbreak.
                         
    Lockdowns in many countries, to curtail the spread of
COVID-19, have hammered the economy as businesses came to halt,
leaving many unemployed.
    "Any dips in gold should be bought up pretty quickly ...
Countries are bailing out entire industries. Interest rates are
at near nothing. That's not going away anytime soon," said Bob
Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
    "With that being said the new normal for gold should be
$1,700 if not higher." 
    Central banks around the world have rolled out stimulus
measures to combat financial impact from the virus, which has
infected about 3.03 million people globally and killed 210,263.
            
    Safe-haven gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus
measures from central banks and governments because it is widely
viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. 
    Investors will now look for any forward guidance from the
U.S. Federal Reserve, which is expected to issue a policy
statement on Wednesday. The European Central Bank meets on
Thursday.
    Elsewhere, palladium        fell 0.8% to $1,909.35 per ounce
and platinum        gained 1.1% to $766.33. Silver       
dropped 1.4% to $15.05. 

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve
Orlofsky and Tom Brown)
  
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