April 28, 2020 / 2:18 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips as lockdown easing plans lift risk appetite

    April 28 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Tuesday as risk appetite
was boosted by plans of some countries to ease coronavirus curbs
in a phased manner, but prices held above the key $1,700 per
ounce level amid hopes for more stimulus to cushion the fallout
from the pandemic.  
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        eased 0.7% to $1,702.09 per ounce by 0139
GMT. U.S. gold futures        fell 0.3% to $1,719.20 per ounce.
    * Asian stocks were set for gains after a strong Wall Street
session as easing lockdown restrictions by some countries and
U.S. states buoyed sentiment, despite another decline in oil
prices.                  
    * Countries from Italy to New Zealand have announced the
easing of coronavirus lockdowns but British Prime Minister Boris
Johnson said it was too early to relax restrictions there.
                         
    * More U.S. states with fewer cases eased restrictions aimed
at controlling the spread of the virus that have led to a record
26.5 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits since
mid-March.                          
    * Japan's March jobless rate rose to its highest in a year,
while job availability slipped to a more than three-year low,
official data showed, as the coronavirus outbreak and
containment measures caused the nation's job market to
ease.            
    * While investors awaited the European central bank's next
move, the Bank of Japan expanded monetary stimulus on Monday and
pledged to buy an unlimited amount of bonds to keep borrowing
costs low.                           
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.
    * China's net gold imports via Hong Kong in March nearly
trebled from the previous month as the country began gradually
easing coronavirus restrictions, but imports were still down 63%
from last year as the pandemic choked demand, data showed.
            
    * Gold loves a crisis, the old adage goes. And with prices
up 13% this year to their highest since 2012 and many predicting
further gains as investors search for safe places to put their
money, it looks true for the coronavirus crisis so
far.            
    * Palladium        rose 0.6% to $1,937.16 an ounce, 
platinum        was little changed at $758.08 per ounce and
silver        slipped 1.6% to $15.03 per ounce. 

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
1400   US   Consumer Confidence   April
U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee 
starts its two-day meeting on interest rate policy

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