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Brijesh Patel

Gold steadies in tight range as virus fears offset solid U.S. jobs data

12:28pm IST

Gold was flat, trading in a narrow $5-range on Friday, as worries over a global surge in coronavirus infections and lingering trade tension between the United States and China overshadowed strong U.S. jobs data.

PRECIOUS-Gold slips on hopes of recovery, vaccine; focus on U.S. payrolls

02 Jul 2020

* U.S. employment data due at 1230 GMT * Nonfarm payrolls forecast increasing 3 million in June * Asian stocks rise on vaccine hopes (Updates prices) By Brijesh Patel July 2 Gold edged lower on Thursday, easing from a near eight-year peak hit in the last session, as solid U.S. manufacturing data and promising results from a COVID-19 vaccine trial revived hopes for a quick economic recovery, denting demand for safe havens. Spot gold was down 0.1% to $1,768.56 per ounce by 0703 GMT, after touching $1,788.96 on Wednesday, its highest since October 2012. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,778. "A general pro-growth stance across markets is why we're seeing a little bit of pressure on gold," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets, adding that market action reflected a tussle between concerns over rising cases and hopes for a vaccine and positive U.S. data. Manufacturing activity in the United States rebounded in June, hitting its highest in more than a year, while similar surveys from China, Germany and France all pointed to a recovery in factory activity. The economic readings and optimism over a potential vaccine lifted equities. However, "The bull case for gold is still intact with real rates low and suppressed and which would be able to sustain the high price of gold," Phillip Futures said in a note. Markets now await June U.S. employment data and weekly initial jobless claims report for clues about the health of the U.S. economy as new cases accelerate in several southern states. Economists polled by Reuters expect U.S. nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 3 million jobs in June, which would be the most since the government started keeping records in 1939. Offering some respite to gold, the dollar index fell 0.1% against its rivals. While major market moves are unlikely ahead of the U.S. data, "any deterioration on the ground in Hong Kong could see further support for safe-haven gold," CMC's McCarthy said. Elsewhere, palladium gained 0.5% to $1,914.13 per ounce, platinum rose 0.1% to $816.58, while silver fell 0.4% to $17.87. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V)

Gold climbs to near 8-year peak as growing virus fears lift demand

01 Jul 2020

Gold rose to its highest in nearly eight years on Wednesday, as demand for the safe-haven metal was boosted by worries about the global economic impact of surging coronavirus infections in many countries.

PRECIOUS-Gold poised for best quarter in 4 years as virus fears persist

30 Jun 2020

* Gold on track for third straight monthly gain * Equities see positives in economic data * Fed Chair says U.S. economic outlook "extraordinarily uncertain" (Updates prices) By Brijesh Patel June 30 Gold held close to a near eight-year peak on Tuesday, en route to its best quarter in more than four years, as worries over rising cases of the novel coronavirus and its economic fallout boosted safe-haven demand. Spot gold was steady at $1,772.14 per ounce by 0703 GMT, just $6.92 shy of a near eight-year high of $1,779.06 hit last week. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,787.30. Bullion, with quarterly gains of more than 12%, is on track for its best quarter since end-March 2016, and is also headed for a third straight monthly gain. "Gold's main supports right now are negative real interest rates across the U.S. yield curve, and risk event hedging. In that, you can lump U.S. COVID-19 situation, and U.S.-China relations," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. A spike in COVID-19 cases in recent days has pushed some U.S. states to reverse re-openings and close businesses such as bars again to curtail its spread. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the outlook for the world's biggest economy is "extraordinarily uncertain" and will depend both on containing the disease and on the government's efforts to support the recovery. Central banks worldwide have adopted aggressive stimulus measures and kept interest rates low, helping the non-yielding asset surge more than 16% this year. Capping gold's advance were better-than-expected economic readings out of the U.S. and China, which lifted investors' appetite for riskier assets. "The fact gold prices remain fairly constructive around risk-on is a bullish sign in its own right," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp, in a note. Elsewhere, palladium gained 0.5% to $1,912.32 per ounce, platinum rose 0.8% to $811.78 and silver edged 0.1% higher to $17.87. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as virus concerns boost safe-haven appeal

29 Jun 2020

* Specs raise gold bullish positions in week ended June 23 - CFTC * SPDR Gold Trust holdings rose 0.3% on Friday * Spot gold set to break resistance at $1,778/oz - technicals (Adds comment, updates prices) By Brijesh Patel June 29 Gold prices rose on Monday as worries over a surge in COVID-19 infections globally dented optimism about a swift economic rebound, driving investors toward the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was 0.1% higher at $1,772.30 per ounce by 0644 GMT. Prices were $6.76 shy of a near eight-year high of $1,779.06, hit last week. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,786 per ounce. "Certainly the safe-haven buying is coming through fairly strong, with the fresh outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S., in particular, really driving that investor appetite at the moment," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes. California ordered some bars to close on Sunday, following similar moves in Texas and Florida, as cases nationwide soar to record levels each day. Washington state and the city of San Francisco have paused re-opening plans. The relentless spread of the coronavirus intensified investor fears about a delay in global economic recovery and weighed on risk appetite, driving inflows into safe-haven assets. The outlook for a global economic recovery over the past month has worsened or at best stayed about the same, according to a firm majority of economists in Reuters polls. "With COVID-19 cases rising in the U.S., real rates well into negative territory and stimulus ongoing, the environment remains conducive to a higher gold price," MKS PAMP said in a note. Reflecting increased investor interest in gold, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.3% on Friday, while speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to June 23. On the technical side, spot gold was poised to break a resistance at $1,778 per ounce and rise to $1,789, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Elsewhere, palladium gained 0.7% to $1,873.70 per ounce, while platinum rose 1.8% to $805.57 and silver climbed 0.6% to $17.85. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

PRECIOUS-Gold firm as mounting virus cases drive safe haven demand

25 Jun 2020

* IMF slashes its 2020 global output forecasts * Asian equities fall, dollar rises (Recasts, adds comment, update prices) By Brijesh Patel June 25 Gold held firm on Thursday, after hitting a nearly eight-year high in the last session, as an upsurge in global coronavirus cases drove safe-haven buying. Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,765.94 per ounce at 0813 GMT, in sight of the peak of $1,779.06 reached on Wednesday, which was its highest since October 2012. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,777.20. "Gold prices continue to be supported by the increase in virus cases globally, raising doubts about the nature of the economic recovery in progress," National Australia Bank economist John Sharma said. Further lockdowns could also translate into the need for further economic support, and in turn low interest rates, he added. Gold, which pays no interest, tends to benefit when interest rates fall as this reduces the opportunity cost of holding bullion. Three U.S. states reported record increases in new cases on Wednesday. There has been a rise in infections elsewhere as well, including in Brazil, Latin America and India, which is also the world's second biggest bullion consumer. Asian stock markets fell in response to the resurging cases and an International Monetary Fund downgrade to economic projections, driving inflows into the alternate safe haven dollar. Gold recovered after some selling earlier in the Asian session, which was attributed to profit-taking from Wednesday's strong rally. "Any short-term correction is likely to be a slow grind lower, and not a rush for the exit doors," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. Gold has jumped more than 16% this year so far. Physical demand, however, from jewellery consumption is likely to remain modest, limiting further increases in prices, the National Australia Bank's Sharma said. Palladium jumped 0.9% to $1,880.83 per ounce, platinum gained 0.5% to $803.97 and silver rose 0.5% at $17.360. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Barbara Lewis)

PRECIOUS-Gold eases off multi-year peak as virus surge drives cash hunt

25 Jun 2020

* IMF slashes its 2020 global output forecasts * Asian equities fall, dollar rises * SPDR Gold Trust holdings at over 7-year high (Adds comments, details, updates prices) By Brijesh Patel June 25 Gold edged lower on Thursday, easing off a near eight-year high hit in the last session, as a selloff in equity markets driven by a surge in coronavirus cases prompted some investors to dump assets. Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,760.39 per ounce as of 0307 GMT, having soared to its highest level since October 2012 of $1,779.06 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,771.80. "The behavioural pattern we've seen this year is that when stocks and energy fall, there is a rush for cash across all asset classes, including gold," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. However, he added, "any short-term correction is likely to be a slow grind lower, and not a rush for the exit doors," as safe haven buying and low interest rates provide support for bullion. Indicative of gold's overall appeal, which has driven a 16% jump in prices this year, holdings of the world's biggest gold-backed exchanged traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust , hit their highest in over seven years. Asian stock markets fell on surging U.S. coronavirus cases and an International Monetary Fund downgrade to economic projections, driving inflows into alternate safe haven dollar. Gold has, on occasion, moved in tandem with equity markets this year, with steep selloffs driving a rush for cash and as traders met margin calls. Three U.S. states reported record increases in new cases on Wednesday. There has been a rise in cases elsewhere as well, including Brazil, Latin America and India, which is also the world's second biggest bullion consumer. On the physical side, jewellery consumption is likely to remain modest, "limiting the scope for further increases in prices," said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma. Palladium jumped 0.8% to $1,878.45 per ounce, platinum gained 0.1% to $800.29 and silver rose 0.2% at $17.55. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

PRECIOUS-Gold soars to near 8-year high as fears of second virus wave grow

24 Jun 2020

* Gold up for fourth straight session * Dollar hovers near more than one-week low * European Union prepared to bar U.S. travellers (Updates prices) By Brijesh Patel June 24 Gold climbed to its highest level in nearly eight years on Wednesday, as safe-haven demand was boosted by worries over a surge in coronavirus infections and hopes of more stimulus measures to combat the economic blow. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,767.93 per ounce as of 0645 GMT after touching $1,773, its highest level since October 2012, in early Asian trade. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,785.80. "The fears of second wave cases, particularly in the U.S., and also in Latin America, are driving concerns about sustained weakness in the economic recovery and that's certainly supporting safe-haven assets like gold," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes. "Continued support that central banks are likely to provide to the market with bond purchasing programmes and monetary easing will clearly keep the rates low for the foreseeable future." Central banks worldwide have adopted aggressive stimulus measures and kept interest rates low, helping gold prices surge more than 16% this year, as the precious metal is widely seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the next stimulus bill will focus on getting people back to work quickly and he would consider a further delay of the deadline to file tax returns. Several U.S. states reported record infections and the death toll in Latin America passed 100,000 on Tuesday, a Reuters tally showed. The European Union is prepared to bar travellers from the United States because of a surge in its cases, putting the country in the same category as Brazil and Russia, the New York Times said. Also increasing gold's appeal, the dollar index hovered near a more than one-week low. Elsewhere, palladium eased 0.1% to $1,921.46 per ounce, platinum dropped 0.3% to $826.54 and silver fell 0.3% to $17.89. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Uttaresh.V)

PRECIOUS-Gold slips ahead of euro PMI data, second virus wave fears cap losses

23 Jun 2020

* Euro zone composite flash PMI expected to rise in June * Coronavirus infections spike in Latin America * Silver slips from more than one-week high (Updates prices) By Brijesh Patel June 23 Gold eased on Tuesday on expectations of positive manufacturing data from the euro zone, but concerns over a second coronavirus wave kept the safe-haven metal near its highest level in more than a month. Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,749.80 per ounce by 0701 GMT. On Monday, bullion hit $1,762.84, its highest since May 18. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,762.30. "We're seeing a little bit of profit taking ahead of the PMI data. Positive data could be a mood shifter and lend more support to the V-shaped recovery," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp. Economists expect the euro zone composite flash PMI to rise to 42.4 in June from 31.9 last month as European economies gradually reopen. US manufacturing data is also due at 1345 GMT. "However, going forward we are going to see more government and central bank stimulus added to the punch bowl just to see the market through this second wave, which should be supportive for gold," Innes said. Gold has gained about 15% so far this year, supported mainly by lower interest rates and widespread stimulus measures by global central banks to ease the economic blow from the pandemic, since the non-yielding metal is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. New infections spiked in Latin America, in Brazil in particular, while New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, eased restrictions on Monday after 100 days of lockdown. Asian shares seesawed following confusing statements from the White House over the U.S.-China trade deal, with President Donald Trump later clarifying the pact was "fully intact". Elsewhere, palladium fell 1.2% to $1,915.98 per ounce, platinum dropped 0.7% to $816.46. Silver slipped 0.7% to $17.69, having touched a more than one-week high on Monday. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-month peak as rising virus fears boost demand

22 Jun 2020

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings rose 2% on Friday * Specs raise gold bullish positions in week to June 16-CFTC * Spot gold may test resistance at 1,767/oz- technicals * Silver hits more than one-week high (Updates prices) By Brijesh Patel June 22 Gold jumped to its highest in more than a month on Monday as investors sought the safe-haven metal after surging coronavirus cases intensified concerns over a delay in global economic recovery. Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,751.63 per ounce by 0650 GMT after hitting its highest since May 18. U.S. gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,764.50. "General risk aversion is helping the market, we are seeing pressure on growth exposed currencies and on share markets. Overall, there are concerns about increasing infection rates," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets. "The market is concerned about the outlook for growth and that of course is supportive for gold." The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday. Rising infections in the United States and elsewhere dented hopes for a quick economic recovery and weighed on investors' appetite for riskier assets. Meanwhile, two U.S. Federal Reserve officials sounded increasing pessimism on the swiftness of any economic recovery from the virus and warned the unemployment rate could rise again if the disease is not brought under control. Geopolitical tensions also supported the safe-haven asset amid developments in Hong Kong, as details of a new national security law for the territory showed Beijing will have overarching powers over its enforcement. Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust holdings rose 2% to 1,159.31 tonnes on Friday, while speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to June 16. Spot gold may test a resistance at $1,767 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to $1,796, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Elsewhere, silver rose 1.5% to $17.86 per ounce to its highest in more than a week. Palladium eased 0.1% to $1,908.08, while platinum jumped 0.8% to $812.27. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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