April 28, 2020 / 4:43 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold falls 1% as lockdown easing plans boost risk appetite

 (Adds comments, details; updates prices)
    * U.S. states with fewer cases ease restrictions
    * Bank of Japan expands monetary stimulus
    * Gold poised to gain due to virus related shutdowns-
analyst  
    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread,
open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
 in an external browser

    By Shreyansi Singh
    April 28 (Reuters) - Gold fell nearly 1% on Tuesday as risk
appetite was boosted by some countries easing
coronavirus-induced restrictions, although recession fears and
hopes for more stimulus kept the bullion near the $1,700 level. 
    Spot gold        eased 0.7% to $1,702.00 per ounce by 0701
GMT, after falling as much as 1.4% during the session. U.S. gold
futures         fell 0.4% to $1,716.20 per ounce.
    Some countries, including Italy and New Zealand, announced
an easing of lockdowns and more parts of the United States
looked set to restart business.                            
    However, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was
too dangerous to relax a stringent lockdown for fear of a deadly
second outbreak.              
    "The fact that we're seeing these attempts from different
countries to at least partially reopen is providing some
downside to gold," said Warren Patterson, an analyst at ING.
    Business shutdowns have led to a record 26.5 million
Americans filing for unemployment benefits since mid-March and
are likely to push the unemployment rate to 16% or higher in the
next report.                                       
    "The impact from the shutdown is going to be felt for quite
some time moving forward through macro data and that will
continue to support gold," said Patterson. 
     Most Asian shares rose, while U.S. stock futures fell in 
choppy trade as oil prices slipped and offset optimism over
certain economies reopening.                  
    Against key rivals, the U.S. dollar        edged up, making
gold costlier for investors using other currencies.       
    "The dollar index is putting pressure on the prices," said
Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Anand Rathi Shares and
Stock Brokers in Mumbai.   
    "The key triggers for gold this week would be European
central bank and U.S. Federal Reserve meeting outcomes."
    The two major central banks are expected to have their
policy meetings this week, following the Bank of Japan which
expanded monetary stimulus on Monday and pledged to buy an
unlimited amount of bonds to keep borrowing costs low.
                          
    Bullion tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures
as it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.
    While gold may be primed for further gains, lower physical
demand from top consumers India and China might make the metal's
strengthening harder to sustain.             
    On the technical front, bullion may fall to $1,677,
according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.             
    Palladium        rose 1.1% to $1,945.86 an ounce, platinum
       fell 0.2%, to $756.07 per ounce, while silver        fell
1.9% to $14.99 per ounce. 

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh and Asha Sistla in Bengaluru;
editing by Uttaresh.V and Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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