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Gold holds near one-month peak as COVID-19 worries deepen

Gold prices were little changed on Monday but held near a one-month high scaled last week as mounting worries about the global economic outlook due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

fine-gold-barsGold prices were little changed on Monday but held near a one-month high scaled last week as mounting worries about the global economic outlook due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and the US Federal Reserve’s stimulus measures kept bullion elevated.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold eased 0.1% to $1,686.82 per ounce by 0039 GMT, having touched its highest since March 9 on Friday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,739.90.

* Oil prices and U.S. stock futures dipped in early trade as a landmark agreement by OPEC and its allies to slash output by a record amount failed to give investors any cause for lasting optimism about the economic outlook.

* The Fed on Thursday announced a broad, $2.3 trillion effort to bolster local governments and small and mid-sized businesses, the latest in an expanding suite of programmes meant to keep the U.S. economy intact as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

* A staggering 16.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks, with weekly new claims topping 6 million for the second straight time as the outbreak relentlessly savages the economy, data showed on Thursday.

* Americans spent a glum Easter Sunday largely confined to their homes by the still-raging pandemic as the U.S. death toll neared 22,000, with more than half a million confirmed cases nationwide.

* Japan’s wholesale prices marked the first annual decline in five months in March, suggesting that slumping global demand for oil and raw material due to the pandemic will weigh on inflation in coming months.

* European Union finance ministers agreed on Thursday on half-a-trillion euros worth of support for their coronavirus-battered economies but left open the question of how to finance recovery in the bloc headed for a steep recession.

* Major physical bullion hubs saw activity dwindle last week due to coronavirus-led restrictions, with strained supply chains cut off from soaring safe-haven demand in some regions.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.56% to 994.19 tonnes on Thursday.

* Speculators increased their bullish positions on COMEX gold and cut them in silver contracts in the week to April 7, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

* Palladium rose 2.4% to $2,224.02 per ounce and silver gained 0.5% to $15.40, while platinum eased 0.3% to $745.74.

Source: Moneycontrol

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