May 7, 2020 / 1:42 AM / 21 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises on poor economic data, U.S. jobless claims report in focus

    May 7 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday after a 1% drop in
the previous session as grim U.S. economic data underscored the
impact of the coronavirus outbreak, while investors awaited the
weekly jobless claims report from the world's largest economy. 
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        gained 0.4% to $1,691.98 per ounce by
0043 GMT. U.S. gold futures        rose 0.4% $1,695.60.
    * Asian stocks were set to come under pressure as downbeat
economic data pushed investors to safe havens.            
    * The dollar        touched a more than one-week peak,
limiting bullion's gains.       
    * U.S. private employers laid off a record 20.236 million
workers in April as mandatory business closures in response to
the virus savaged the economy.             
    * Later on Thursday, the weekly U.S. jobless claims report
is expected to show that initial claims for state unemployment
benefits are likely to have dropped to 3 million for the week
ended May 2.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his
coronavirus task force would shift its primary focus to reviving
business and social life.             
    * Trump also said that he would be able to report in about a
week or two whether China is fulfilling its obligations under a
Phase 1 trade deal, even as his administration is weighing
actions against Beijing over its handling of the virus.
            
    * Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday the
situation in care homes had improved, after his health minister
denied Britain had prioritised hospitals over many elderly
people in homes in its fight against the outbreak.             
    * The euro zone economy will contract by a record 7.7% this
year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation will almost
disappear and public debt and budget deficits will balloon, the
European Commission forecast on Wednesday.             
    * German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced steps on
Wednesday to ease the lockdown in Germany but at the same time
launched an "emergency brake" mechanism allowing for renewed
restrictions in case infections pick up again.             
    * Orders for German industrial goods fell in March at their
steepest rate since records began in 1991 as demand collapsed
due to the outbreak.             
    * Palladium        rose 0.5% to $1,805.99 an ounce, platinum
       gained 0.7% to $753.76 and silver        was up 0.3% at
$14.97.
 
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0600 Germany  Industrial Output MM           March
0600 UK       BOE Bank Rate, GB BOE QE Corp  May
0730 UK       Halifax House Prices MM        April
1230 U.S.     Initial Jobless Claims         Weekly    

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Aditya Soni)
  
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