July 7, 2020 / 12:58 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold firms to near 8-year peak as virus concerns boost demand

    July 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday,
hovering near an eight-year high, as concerns over surging
coronavirus cases around the world kept bullion's safety demand
elevated.
                            
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was 0.1% higher at $1,784.99 per ounce by
0037 GMT, just $3.97 shy of a near eight-year high of $1,788.96,
which was hit last week.
    * U.S. gold futures        were mostly unchanged at
$1,794.20.
    * India on Monday overtook Russia to record the world's
third-highest number of COVID-19 infections, while U.S.
coronavirus deaths crossed 130,000 amid a surge in cases.
                         
    * More than 11.56 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 534,829​ have
died.             
    * Japan's household spending fell at the fastest pace on
record in May as consumers stayed at home to contain the
pandemic, pushing the world's third-largest economy deeper into
decline.             
    * Gold is used as a safe investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty.
    * Speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX
gold and silver contracts in the week to June 30, the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Monday.
            
    * The dollar index        held near a two-week low, making
gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.       
    * Stemming bullion's advance, Asian markets looked set to
rise on Tuesday as investors weighed growing expectations of an
economic rebound in China and a resurgent U.S. services
industry.            
    * U.S. services industry activity rebounded sharply in June,
almost returning to its pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, but a
resurgence in coronavirus cases that has forced some restaurants
and bars to close again threatens the emerging recovery.
            
    * Palladium        dropped 1.1% to $1,919.08 per ounce,
while platinum        gained 1.1% to $821.76. Silver        rose
0.5% to $18.30.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0430  Australia    RBA Cash Rate            July
0600  Germany      Industrial Output MM     May

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika
Syamnath)
  
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