July 15, 2020 / 12:59 AM / 25 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher on virus fears, China-U.S. tensions

    July 15 (Reuters) - Gold inched higher on Wednesday, holding
firm above the key $1,800 level, as worries over surging
coronavirus cases and simmering China-U.S. tensions lifted
demand for the safe-haven metal.
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,809.41 per ounce by
0031 GMT. U.S. gold futures        were steady at $1,813.70.
    * Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States. 
With more than 3.3 million cases, it has one of the highest
rates of cases per capita in the world.             
    * Many U.S. states have temporarily halted the reopening of
their economies in order to curtail the outbreak, which has
infected more than 13 million people worldwide so far.
    * Federal Reserve officials warned on Tuesday the U.S.
economy faces a longer recovery from the pandemic, and economic
pain could still worsen as cases mount.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation and an
executive order to hold China "accountable" for the national
security law it imposed on Hong Kong.              
    * Trump also shut the door on "Phase 2" trade negotiations
with China, saying he does not want to talk to Beijing about
trade because of the coronavirus pandemic.             
    * The Bank of Japan is expected to hold steady on policy
after Wednesday's meeting, but investors will be gauging its
economic projections and any reassurances of additional stimulus
if needed.             
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures
from central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    * Palladium        rose 0.6% to $1,971.49 per ounce, 
platinum        gained 0.6% to $831.03 and silver        climbed
0.3% to $19.26.
1315  US      Industrial Production MM   June
1800  US      Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book of 
              economic condition
--   Japan   JP BOJ Rate Decision 

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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