July 20, 2020 / 10:28 AM / 24 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as virus woes bolster demand

    * Silver climbs to a more than 10-month peak
    * Specs cut gold bullish positions in week ended July 14 -
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    July 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday as
rising numbers of coronavirus cases around the world raised
concerns over the pace of economic recovery, while investors
awaited the European Union's decision on a proposed recovery
    Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,814.38 per ounce by 1220
GMT, while U.S. gold futures        were also 0.3% higher at
    Coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States,
and experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention have warned that cases and deaths could rise this
autumn and winter.             
    The pandemic has so far infected more than 14 million people
    "The increase in the number of (Covid-19) infections in
countries like the U.S., Brazil and India will make it longer
for economies to recover," said ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo
Alberto De Casa.
    "Uncertainties remain high, and that is supporting gold
prices," De Casa said, adding that markets are also betting on
more dovish decisions by central banks. 
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she hopes
that EU leaders will reach an agreement on a 1.8 trillion euro
coronavirus stimulus plan.                          
    Meanwhile a battle in the U.S. Congress over a
coronavirus-aid bill began last week as Republicans put the
finishing touches to provisions granting liability protections
for entities resuming operations amid the pandemic.             
    "ETF (exchange-traded fund) inflows remain evident and while
recent CFTC data shows a reduction in non-commercial positioning
as longs were cut, expect to see strong interest on any decline
underneath $1,800," MKS PAMP said in a note.
    "Strong support remains evident through $1,795-$1,790." 
    Speculators reduced their bullish positions in COMEX gold
and increased them in silver contracts in the week to July 14.
    Also helping bullion, the dollar index        eased 0.1%
against rivals.       
    Elsewhere, silver        rose 1.4% to $19.59 an ounce,
having hit a peak since September 2019 at $19.60. 
    Palladium        gained 0.7% to $2,036.30 per ounce, while
platinum        was up 1% at $846.04. 

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey
and Louise Heavens)
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