April 27, 2020 / 2:06 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices ease on firmer equities

    April 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Monday as
equities firmed, while expectations for more economic stimulus
measures limited losses. 
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        eased 0.3% to $1,722.49 per ounce by 0135
GMT. U.S. gold futures        rose 0.4% to $1,742.60.
    * Asian shares inched higher ahead of a busy week for
earnings and central bank meetings, with speculation that the
Bank of Japan (BOJ) will announce more stimulus steps.
           
    * The BOJ is expected to expand monetary stimulus for the
second straight month aimed at combating the deepening economic
fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.             
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.
    * Against key rivals, the U.S. dollar        inched down,
but hovered close to a near three-week peak touched on Friday,
making gold costlier for investors using other currencies.
      
    * Investors are pinning their hopes for the reopening of the
U.S. economy on the potential for wider availability of testing
for COVID-19 cases and on drug trials for treatments of the
disease but said, until there is concrete progress in these
areas, further stock market gains may be limited.             
    * Another wave of states prepared to ease coronavirus
restrictions on U.S. commerce this week, while the White House
forecast a staggering jump in the nation's monthly jobless rate.
            
    * UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to his residence
on Sunday after recovering from COVID-19, with pressure growing
for the government to explain how it will ease a month-old
coronavirus lockdown.             
    * Shares of gold miners and funds dealing in the precious
metal have rallied in recent weeks as the virus crisis rocked
global markets and investors raced to buy safe-haven assets.
            
    * Retail demand for physical gold suffered last week in top
Asian hubs as jewellery shops remained shut due to coronavirus
restrictions, but some regions saw steady buying from investors
hunting for a safe haven.         
    * Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , rose 0.6% to
1,048.31 tonnes on Friday from 1,042.46 tonnes on Thursday.
         
    * Palladium        rose 0.4% to $2,032.80 per ounce, while
platinum        gained 0.8% to $766.04 and silver        was
flat at $15.24. 
    
DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)
    
    1230  Brazil  Current Account                  March
    1230  Brazil  Foreign Direct Investment        March
     --   Japan   Bank of Japan holds monetary policy meeting

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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