June 18, 2020 / 3:27 AM / 17 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold flat as dollar strength checks concerns over virus case spike

    * Wall Street snaps 3-day winning streak
    * Dollar, yen benefit as virus cases rise again
    * BOE expected to boost quantitative easing programme
    * Spot gold neutral in $1,708-$1,730 range- technicals

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    June 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Thursday,
with the metal caught between a strengthening U.S. dollar and a
pullback in global equities, as worries that new coronavirus
cases could jeopardise an economic recovery weighed on markets.
    Spot gold        was flat at $1,726.48 per ounce by 0701
GMT. 
    U.S. gold futures        eased 0.1% to $1,733.90 per ounce.
    "We're not really seeing a clear-cut catalyst for gold here.
On the one hand, we're getting a stronger U.S. dollar because
the recent comments from the Federal Reserve are supportive,"
said DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak.
    "On the other hand, the absence of more stimulus has weighed
on the sentiment and bond yields have fallen. These conflicting
influences are keeping gold pretty well anchored."
    Safe-haven gains for the U.S. dollar weighed on gold's
appeal, with dollar index        holding firm against a basket
of major currencies.       
    Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the U.S. economy
is beginning to recover from the worst of the coronavirus
crisis, but with some 25 million Americans displaced from work
and the pandemic ongoing, it will need more help.             
    The imposition of travel curbs in Beijing to stop a separate
outbreak and surging new COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states
erased earlier confidence about a global economic recovery,
sending global financial markets and U.S. Treasury yields lower.
                  
    Bank of England is expected to announce an increase of at
least 100 billion pounds ($125 billion) in its bond-buying
programme at its policy meeting due 1100 GMT.
    On the technical front, spot gold looks neutral in a range
of $1,708 to $1,730 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a
direction, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.         
    Elsewhere, palladium        gained 0.6% to $1,932.52 per
ounce, while platinum        dropped 0.7% to $813.48 and silver
       slipped 0.4% to $17.51.
    

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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