Gold inches up as rising COVID-19 cases boost safe-haven demand

Spot gold was up 0.1% to $1,775.97 per ounce by 0031 GMT

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. An employee sorts gold bars in the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, December 15, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. An employee sorts gold bars in the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, December 15, 2017.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Gold prices edged higher on Monday as worries over a surge in coronavirus infections in the United States dented optimism about signs of a nascent economic recovery, prompting investors to seek the safe-haven metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1% to $1,775.97 per ounce by 0031 GMT. U.S. gold futures GCv1 eased 0.2% to $1,787.30.

* In the first four days of July alone, 15 U.S. states reported record increases in new cases of COVID-19, which has infected nearly 3 million Americans and killed about 130,000, according to a Reuters tally. 

* More than 11.35 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus worldwide so far. 

* Gold has also been benefiting from lower interest rates around the world and widespread stimulus measure from major central banks as it is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.

* Meanwhile, the dollar index held steady against a basket of major currencies on Monday. 

* Investors' focus shifts to U.S. services sector activity data for June due later in the day.

* The Institute for Supply Management's index for non-manufacturing activity is expected to rise to 50.0 in June from 45.4 in the previous month, indicating activity stopped shrinking.

* Asian shares held near four-month highs as investors counted on super-cheap liquidity and fiscal stimulus to sustain the global economic recovery even as surging coronavirus cases delayed reopenings across the United States. 

* Palladium fell 0.3% to $1,916.98 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.8% to $806.30. Silver eased 0.1% to $18.02.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 Germany Industrial Orders MM May 1345 US Markit Comp, Svcs Final PMIs June 1400 US ISM N-Mfg PMI June

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((Brijesh.Patel1@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067493865; Reuters Messaging: Brijesh.Patel1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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