July 16, 2020 / 1:16 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady above $1,800/oz on virus fears, U.S.-China tensions

    July 16 (Reuters) - Gold held steady above the psychological
level of $1,800/ounce on Thursday, as concerns about rising
coronavirus cases and lingering Sino-U.S. tensions countered
optimism over promising early data for a potential COVID-19
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,810.33 per ounce
by 0045 GMT. U.S. gold futures        were mostly unchanged at
    * More than 13.5 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 580,836​ have
died, according to a Reuters tally.             
    * The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States
was nearing 3.5 million, by far the highest for any country in
the world, and more than 136,000 Americans have died from the
highly contagious respiratory illness to date.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to
Hong Kong's special status under U.S. law to punish China for
what he called "oppressive actions" against the former British
colony, prompting Beijing to warn of retaliatory sanctions.
    * Gold is often used as a safe store of value during times
of political and financial uncertainty.
    * Asian shares look set to continue a march upwards as
optimism over a coronavirus vaccine carry weight over the
ongoing spread of the disease and simmering U.S.-China tensions.
    * Market participants now await China's second-quarter GDP
data due later in the day, along with June factory output,
retail sales and fixed-asset investment.
    * A Reuters poll showed analysts expect China to report 2.5%
economic growth, reversing a 6.8% first-quarter decline driven
by the pandemic.             
    * Palladium        rose 0.4% to $1,989.24 per ounce,  while
platinum        lost 0.6% to $827.41 and silver        fell 0.1%
to $19.36.
0200  China   Retail Sales YY
              GDP YY                              Q2
1145  EU      ECB Refinancing Rate, Deposit Rate  July
1230  US      Initial Jobless Claim               weekly
              Retail Sales MM                     June

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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