Diptendu Lahiri

PRECIOUS-Gold nears $1,900/oz on weaker dollar, stimulus hopes

24 Jul 2020

* Spot gold hits $1,897.91 per ounce * U.S. weekly jobless claims rise to 1.416 million * Palladium prices could reach $2,500/oz by mid-2021 -UBS * GRAPHIC-2020 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices) By Shreyansi Singh and Diptendu Lahiri July 23 Gold prices jumped more than 1%, just shy of the $1,900 level on Thursday, boosted by an easing dollar and hopes for more stimulus to revive virus-hit economies, while a rise in U.S. jobless claims raised concerns of a slower economic recovery. Spot gold rose 0.8% to $1,886.09 per ounce by 2:06 p.m. EDT (1806 GMT), having hit its highest since September 2011 at $1,897.91. U.S. gold futures settled up 1.3% at $1,890. "The macro environment continues to evolve favourably for gold with the dollar index weakening to two-year lows and negative real yields falling further," said Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper. The dollar dipped 0.3%, having hit a near two-year low earlier, making gold less expensive for holders of other currencies. "Expectations of further stimulus and heightening geopolitical tensions continue to bolster safe-haven demand," Cooper added. Non-yielding gold has surged 24% this year, underpinned by lower interest rates and widespread stimulus measures from major central banks. U.S. Senate Republicans plan to propose another round of direct payments to Americans in the next coronavirus relief bill, a senior aide said on Thursday. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week for the first time in nearly four months, suggesting the labour market was stalling amid a resurgence in new infections. "It (jobless claims data) tells you that at least here in the States, we still have a long way to go before we recover," said Edward Meir, analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets. Elsewhere, silver was 2.2% lower at $22.52 per ounce, having hit a nearly seven-year high earlier in the session. Palladium edged down 0.2% to $2,142.79 per ounce, and platinum fell 1.1% to $911.53. Market tightness in the second half of 2020, supported by monetary and fiscal stimulus measures, should support palladium prices over the next 12 months, UBS said in a note. It added that it expected the auto catalyst metal to reach $2,500/oz by mid-2021. (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Dan Grebler)

PRECIOUS-Gold rebounds as record virus infections in U.S. knocks equities

26 Jun 2020

* Gold up 1.4% so far this week * Palladium set for biggest weekly fall in two months * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Recasts, adds comments, details; updates prices) By Diptendu Lahiri June 26 Gold erased earlier losses on Friday as the relentless coronavirus spread globally with a record jump in COVID-19 infections in the United States marring risk appetite and setting the metal on track for its third straight weekly rise. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,767.28 per ounce by 1:50 p.m. EDT (1750 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled 0.5% up at $1,780.30. "Investors are getting nervous due to the current rise in coronavirus cases and quitting their positions in riskier assets like stocks, while parking their investments in gold and bonds," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. Wall Street's major indexes dropped and benchmark 10-year yield slipped to its lowest since early June as the United States set a new record for a one-day increase in coronavirus cases. Gold has gained 1.4% so far this week, but retreated slightly from its highest level since October 2012 hit on Wednesday as the rival safe-haven U.S. dollar took some shine off the precious metal amid rising coronavirus cases. More than 9.62 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally. "We might see gold breaking the $1,800 level ... fundamentals for gold are quite strong with rising coronavirus cases, no vaccines yet and stimulus from major central banks globally leading to concerns of inflation," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at broker OANDA. Easy monetary policies and a string of stimulus measures by major central banks to stem the virus impact have sparked concerns of inflation, driving bullion prices about 16.5% higher this year. In other metals, palladium rose 1.5% to $1,869.24 per ounce, but was on track for its biggest weekly decline since the week ending May 1. Platinum fell 1.4% to $792.60 an ounce and silver dropped 0.3% to $17.82. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Jonathan Oatis)

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies as new infections fuel worries

26 Jun 2020

* Gold losing out safe-haven appeal to dollar * Falls in gold being viewed as buying opportunities -Commerzbank * Platinum drops to more than one-week low * For an interactive graphic tracking the global coronavirus spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Updates prices) By Diptendu Lahiri June 25 Gold prices drifted sideways on Thursday as a surge in coronavirus cases and mounting economic tolls kept investors on edge, though the metal stepped back from last session's more than 7-1/2-year high. Spot gold was little changed at $1,762.11 per ounce as of 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), after hitting its highest level since October 2012 at $1,779.06 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures settled 0.3% lower at $1,770.60. "The market is taking into account what kind of ramifications the second wave of the virus could have on the economy," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures. "The (gold) market seems well supported due to the second wave of coronavirus in the United States and around the world, and the economic concerns related to that is elevating safe-haven demand," Meger added. The weekly jobless claims report on Thursday showed millions continue to collect unemployment checks more than a month after many businesses resumed operating following virus-led lockdowns. Other data underscored expectations that the economy would contract in the second quarter at its fastest pace since the Great Depression. Gains in bullion, however, were cut by safe-haven flows into the greenback. The dollar index was up 0.2%. Australia and some U.S. states reported a spike in cases as well as Latin America and India, the world's second biggest bullion consumer. "Falls in the gold price are still being viewed by investors as buying opportunities," Commerzbank said in a note, adding, "We therefore regard the latest weakness in the gold price as temporary and envisage new highs in the near future." In other precious metals, platinum was down 0.5% at $796.28. The metal fell to its lowest since June 15 earlier in the session, having posted its biggest one-day decline since March 19 on Wednesday. Palladium fell 1.1% to $1,844.30 per ounce and silver rose 1.2% to $17.73. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Gold on back foot as investors flock to safety of dollar

25 Jun 2020

Gold prices edged lower in volatile trade on Thursday, as a spike in coronavirus cases and mounting economic tolls drove investors to the safety of the U.S. dollar and pressured risky assets.

PRECIOUS-Gold vaults to highest since October 2012 as dollar stumbles

23 Jun 2020

* Gold hit $1,768.96/oz earlier in the session * Dollar index falls 0.5% * SPDR Gold Trust holdings at over 7-year high (Updates prices) By Diptendu Lahiri June 23 Gold prices surged to their highest since October 2012 on Tuesday, driven by weakness in the U.S. dollar and widespread monetary stimulus packages by central banks as a jump in coronavirus cases dented the economic outlook. Spot gold climbed 0.7% to $1,765.99 per ounce by 01:54 p.m. ET (1754 GMT), after hitting $1,768.96, its highest since October 2012. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.9% at $1,782 per ounce. "The tsunami of stimulus coming in from everywhere is not only inflationary but also painting a weaker picture for the economy and making gold look attractive," said Edward Meir, analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets. Gold has gained nearly 16% this year, supported by global stimulus measures since the non-yielding metal is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. The dollar was down 0.5% at 96.60 against a basket of currencies, making gold cheaper for non-U.S. currency holders. More than 9.14 million people have been reported infected by the coronavirus globally and 473,031 have died, a Reuters tally showed on Tuesday. Gold's gains came despite a rise in equities driven by encouraging economic data and after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S.-China trade pact was "fully intact". "Gold's biggest enemy right now is if other markets grab attention and capital," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO. "Barring a poor close under $1,750 in the coming days, the October 2012 high of about $1,800 should only be a matter of time, a week, perhaps less." Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.58% to 1,166.04 tonnes on Monday, a level last seen in April 2013. Palladium was little changed at $1,938.46 per ounce, platinum was up 0.8% at $828.73 per ounce and silver rose 0.6% to $17.93 per ounce. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler, Tom Brown and Dan Grebler)

PRECIOUS-Gold jumps, hits highest in more than a month on uptick in pandemic

23 Jun 2020

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings rose 2% on Friday * Silver hits more than one-week high of $18.01/oz (Updates prices) By Diptendu Lahiri June 22 Gold prices climbed 1% on Monday to hit the highest level in more than a month, as investors took refuge in the safe-haven metal after an uptick in coronavirus cases dampened hopes for a quick economic recovery. Spot gold was up 0.7% to $1,755.58 per ounce at 02:41 p.m. ET (1841 GMT). The session high was 1,762.84, the highest since May 18. Prices were $8.97 shy of a 7-1/2 year high of $1,764.55, hit last month. U.S. gold futures settled 0.8% higher at $1,766.40. "There is some flight to safety in gold," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. The rise in coronavirus cases globally has led gold to break the $1,750 level, he said. "If we close above $1,765 today, the $1,800 level is not very far." Gold, a safe haven during times of economic uncertainty, got a boost after the World Health Organization on Sunday reported a record jump in global infections, with the biggest increases in North and South America. Two U.S. Federal Reserve officials on Friday warned the unemployment rate could rise again if the pandemic is not brought under control. Central banks across the globe have taken aggressive stimulus measures and kept interest rates low during the crisis. "There seems to be some increase in inflation expectations which is pushing real rates lower and giving some support to the gold price," said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo. Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. The dollar index was down 0.5% at 97.15, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies. Meanwhile, SPDR Gold Trust holdings on Friday rose 2% to 1,159.31 tonnes, the highest level since April 2013. Silver rose nearly 1% to $17.77 per ounce, after hitting a more than one-week high at $18.01. Palladium was up 1.1% at $1,932.28 , while platinum gained rose 2.3% to $823.65, hitting more than a week high at $833.67. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio, Andrea Ricci and Sonya Hepinstall)

PRECIOUS-Gold rises as new coronavirus cases spur lockdown fears

19 Jun 2020

* Palladium heads for second straight weekly decline * Silver on track for second weekly gain (Updates prices) By Diptendu Lahiri June 19 Gold gained on Friday as a rise in coronavirus cases raised concerns of a second wave of the pandemic that could compel governments to implement new lockdowns. Spot gold was up 1.1% to $1,740.79 per ounce by 2:03 p.m. ET (1803 GMT), while U.S. gold futures settled 1.3% up at $1,753 per ounce. Spot prices reached their highest level since 2012 last month at $1,764.55. "There are continued upturns in COVID-19 throughout the South and Southwest of U.S. with uptick in the hospitalization rate. ... That has caused a little bit of concern of another shutdown, which is benefiting gold," said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments. More than 8.38 million people worldwide have been infected with the novel coronavirus. Earlier this week some 400 workers at an abattoir in northern Germany tested for the virus, and China on Friday reported 32 new cases of the virus. "No matter what the long-term consequences, like inflation, there will be continued stimulus throughout the world and that will keep gold prices supported in the long term," Sica said. So far this year, gold prices have risen about 15%, supported by safe-haven demand in the midst of concerns of an economic slowdown and unprecedented amounts of government and central bank fiscal and monetary support, which has reduced bond yields and has also raised fears about inflation. "Spot gold has yet to close above $1,750, and if and when that happens, we suspect renewed momentum and fresh buying from underinvested hedge funds will propel the price higher towards $1,800," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen wrote in a note. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar index was up 0.2%. Palladium fell 0.6% to $1,913.17 an ounce and was on track for a second consecutive weekly decline. Platinum gained 1.2% to $813.56 per ounce and was up 0.9% so far for the week. Silver was up 0.6% at $17.62 and was on track for a second week of gains. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft and Leslie Adler)

Gold rises as fears over new coronavirus cases lend support

19 Jun 2020

Gold gained on Friday as a rise in coronavirus cases raised concerns over a second wave which could compel governments to implement another lockdown.

PRECIOUS-Gold slips as U.S. jobless claims fall, China claims outbreak contained

19 Jun 2020

* U.S. jobless claims drop for 11th straight week * Gold likely to hold $1,700-$1,750 over near term -analyst (Updates prices) By Diptendu Lahiri June 18 Gold eased on Thursday after data showed lower jobless claims in the United States and on reports Beijing was bringing its latest coronavirus outbreak under control, but mounting infections globally limited losses for the safe-haven metal. Spot gold fell nearly 0.1% to $1,724.99 per ounce by 2:57 p.m. (1857 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled down 0.3% at $1,731.10. "Gold is giving up earlier gains due to some positive reports from Beijing that they have contained the outbreak," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at broker OANDA. "The jobless claims data is getting better. The economic situation might be getting better at last." Initial claims for state unemployment benefits in the United States dropped for the 11th straight week, pushing claims further away from a record 6.867 million in late March. However, the pace of U.S. labor market recovery appeared to have stalled. In China, fears over a 'second wave' of the pandemic eased somewhat, as a medical expert said Beijing has brought its latest outbreak under control. Still, mounting infections worldwide continued to inspire safe-haven buying of gold, driving the precious metal close to a one-week high early in the session. Safe-haven appeal also limited gold's decline despite competition from other safe havens such as the U.S. dollar. "Ongoing risks to the global economic recovery, especially with regards to recent spikes in virus cases in both the U.S. and China continue to underpin (gold's) price action. However, a lack of physical demand is likely to see gold hold $1,700-$1,750 over the near term," MKS PAMP said in a note. Elsewhere, palladium 0.2% to $1,917.03 per ounce, while platinum slid 1.5% to $806.56 . Silver was down nearly 1% at $17.41. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by David Gregorio and Chizu Nomiyama)

PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady on fresh virus concerns, Fed outlook

18 Jun 2020

* Wall Street indexes inch higher in choppy trading * Confirmation of 'second wave' could push gold to $1,740 -analyst * Beijing cancels scores of domestic flights (Updates prices) By Diptendu Lahiri June 17 Gold prices were little changed on Wednesday, buoyed by concerns over a second coronavirus wave and expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would maintain low interest rates in the near term, while a firm dollar put a lid on gains. Spot gold was little changed at $1,726.24 per ounce by 2:24 p.m. ET (1824 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled slightly down at $1,735.60. While the strength in the dollar and, initially, U.S. stock markets have weighed on gold, the fact that Fed Chair Jerome Powell does not foresee any interest rate hikes in the near future makes it "better to be a long-term investor in gold, buying the metal at every small pullback," said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors. Denting any advance in gold, the dollar also benefited from safe-haven flows. With a full U.S. economic recovery out of reach until the coronavirus pandemic is brought to heel, the Federal Reserve will use its "full range of tools" to cushion households and businesses, Powell told lawmakers. Lower interest rates reduce opportunity cost for holding non-yielding bullion. The S&P 500 and the Dow edged higher in choppy trading on Wednesday as hopes of a swift recovery from a coronavirus-driven downturn were dented by fears of a record rise in coronavirus cases in six U.S. states. Meanwhile in China, Beijing cancelled scores of domestic flights on Wednesday, ramping up attempts to contain a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus. The gold market is more long than short overall, so investors are taking advantage of any rallies, trading in a range of $1,730-$1,735 on the upside and $1,710-$1,715 on the downside, said Afshin Nabavi, senior vice president at precious metals trader MKS SA. Elsewhere, palladium fell 0.5% to $1,922.78 an ounce and platinum was down 0.3% at $818.10, while silver gained 0.8% to $17.53. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Steve Orlofsky)

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