Gold gains as U.S. jobs data, virus fears fuel stimulus hopes

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,809.61 per ounce by 0531 GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,807.80

  
Gold bars are pictured on display at Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul, South Korea, August 6, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Gold bars are pictured on display at Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul, South Korea, August 6, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Gold prices rose on Thursday, aided by a weaker dollar, as investors bet that grim U.S. jobs data and surging COVID-19 cases worldwide would spur authorities to announce further stimulus measures.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,809.61 per ounce by 0531 GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,807.80.

"We've seen risk sentiment improve because of the optimism over vaccines and those were the headwinds for gold," said Harshal Barot, a senior research consultant for South Asia at Metals Focus.

"But since the dollar continues to weaken, gold prices are finding a little bit of support."

The dollar index edged down 0.1% on Thursday, strengthening gold's appeal to other currency holders. 

Barot said gold would find support at $1,795 per ounce and likely trade sideways in the near-term, until a "convincing" break above $1,850.

Asian shares advanced on Thursday as markets' euphoric mood over COVID-19 vaccines and the prospects for stimulus under the incoming Biden administration overrode a slate of weak U.S. economic data. 

"The vaccine narrative has watered down gold's appeal immensely and it will continue too until we finally move into an inflationary world," said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at financial services firm Axi.

U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers discussed how the central bank's asset purchases could be adjusted to provide more support to markets in the minutes to its Nov. 4-5 meeting. 

"With the widespread distribution of a coronavirus vaccine unlikely before H2 2021, central banks are likely to remain accommodative," ANZ analysts said in a note.

The bank kept its 12-month target of $2,100 per ounce for gold, saying accommodative central bank policy and dollar weakness meant gold was well supported.

Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation likely to result from large stimulus.

Silver rose 0.3% to $23.38 an ounce. Platinum gained 0.4% to $967.15 and palladium was 1.2% higher at $2,368.68.

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.) ((nakul.iyer@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 0417; Reuters Messaging: nakul.iyer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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