Gold prices on Wednesday clawed back from a steep fall in the previous session, as the U.S. dollar eased following the Federal Reserve's latest stimulus boost and as Asian equities slipped with the coronavirus pandemic sharply slowing global growth.
Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,577.83 per ounce, as of 0030 GMT, having slumped 3.1% in the previous session. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.3% to $1,591.30.
The Fed on Tuesday broadened the ability of dozens of foreign central banks to access U.S. dollars during the coronavirus crisis by allowing them to exchange their holdings of U.S. Treasury securities for overnight dollar loans.
The dollar was down 0.1% against key rivals.
Asian shares faced another leg lower on Wednesday as the virus sharply slows global growth, leading a gauge of world stocks to post its biggest quarterly decline in more than a decade.
Denting sentiment further was data that showed that U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a near three-year low in March as households worried about the economy's near-term outlook amid the epidemic, which has upended life for Americans.
The Federal Reserve is ready to do more to help a U.S. economy ground to a sudden halt as businesses shutter and people stay home to slow the virus, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said on Tuesday.
China will make further targeted cuts in the reserve requirement ratio for medium- and small-sized banks to help cushion the impact of the outbreak, state media reported on Tuesday.
Japanese manufacturers turned pessimistic for the first time in seven years in the three months ended March, the central bank's "tankan" survey showed, as the pandemic dealt a heavy blow to business activity.
Some countries' banking systems might have to be recapitalized or even restructured, if their economies are severely handicapped by prolonged disruption from the outbreak, officials at the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.27% to 967 tonnes on Tuesday.
Palladium eased 0.3% to $2,344.99 per ounce, platinum fell 0.7% to $717.39 and silver slipped 0.3% to $13.93.
0145 China Caixin Mfg PMI Final March
0755 Germany Markit/BME Mfg PMI March
0800 EU Markit Mfg Final PMI March
0830 UK Markit/CIPS Mfg PMI Final March
0900 EU Unemployment Rate Feb
1345 U.S. Markit Mfg PMI Final March
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(Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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