Gold inches up on weak dollar, pandemic peaking hopes cap gains

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,646.81 per ounce by 0059 GMT

  
Gold bars are pictured at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna April 16, 2013. Image used for illustrative purposes

Gold bars are pictured at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna April 16, 2013. Image used for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Gold prices rose slightly on Thursday ahead of a U.S. weekly jobless claims report as the dollar inched lower, while increasing appetite for risk on hopes that the new coronavirus pandemic is nearing a peak limited the metal's upside.

FUNDAMENTALS
Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,646.81 per ounce by 0059 GMT, resuming its march toward a near one-month peak scaled on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,682.70.

The dollar was down 0.1% against key rivals, making gold cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

Asian shares were poised to track Wall Street's gains and risk-sensitive currencies climbed on budding optimism the pandemic may be peaking.

New York, the hardest-hit state in America, on Wednesday reported its highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in a single day with even veteran doctors and nurses expressing shock at the speed with which patients were declining and dying.

The forced closure of businesses across the United States and surge in unemployment will force U.S. growth to contract by 30% in the second quarter and 5% overall in 2020, Pacific Investment Management Co wrote.

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's emergency meetings in March showed policymakers trying to stay ahead of the rapidly spreading pandemic with decisions that may shape the global economy for decades to come.

The COVID-19 disease is still infecting and killing large numbers of people across Europe and there is no sign yet that the peak of the region's outbreak has been reached, the EU's disease monitoring agency said.

Europe needs to show greater solidarity in its fight against the coronavirus, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said, as the bloc's leaders remain deadlocked about a common response.

SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.3% to 988.63 tonnes on Wednesday.

Palladium fell 0.5% to $2,164.40 an ounce, while  silver eased 0.1% to $15.03. Platinum gained 0.5% to $733.30, having touched a more than three-week high in the previous session.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0600  UK    GDP Estimates MM, YY       Feb
0600  UK    Manufacturing Output MM  Feb
1230  U.S.  Initial Jobless Claims         Weekly
1400  U.S.  U Mich Sentiment Prelim    April
1400  U.S.  Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gives economic update in a webcast hosted by the Brookings Institution

(Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

© Reuters News 2020

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