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Gold rises as ECB measures to limit virus impact lift sentiment

Logo - The Daily Drill - Digging Deep for precious metal news

March 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Thursday after a steep fall in the previous session, as the European Central Bank's measures to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus epidemic lifted investor sentiment.

FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,491.40 per ounce by 0040 GMT, having risen 1% earlier in the session. * The metal fell about 3% on Wednesday along with other precious metals, as investors sold across assets to hoard cash. * U.S. gold futures rose 1.2% to $1,495.80 per ounce. * Asian stock markets fought to stabilize, as the latest promise of stimulus from the European Central Bank propped up sentiment while the world struggles to contain the virus pandemic. U.S. stock futures turned positive. * The euro rose against the dollar and the pound after the ECB's asset-purchase program announcement in response to the coronavirus outbreak. * The European Central Bank launched a 750 billion euro ($818 billion) emergency bond purchase program on Wednesday to push down borrowing costs in a bloc struggling with the economic fallout of coronavirus.

* Japan's annual core consumer inflation eased in February as energy prices fell and the outbreak clouded the outlook as consumers grow more cautious about spending, adding to fears the economy could be sliding into recession. * Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will form a panel of ministers on Thursday to lay out a package to help the economy weather the hit from the outbreak, the government said on Wednesday. * Chancellor Angela Merkel urged all German citizens to help fight the spread of the virus by sticking to rules aimed at reducing direct social contact and avoiding as many new infections as possible. * U.S. President Donald Trump moved to accelerate production of desperately needed medical equipment to battle the virus pandemic and said an estimate that U.S. unemployment could conceivably reach 20% was a worst case scenario.

* The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation providing billions of dollars to limit the damage from the outbreak through free testing, paid sick leave and expanded safety-net spending. * SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.66% to 923.69 tonnes on Wednesday. * Palladium rose 2.4% to $1,625.36 per ounce, while platinum rose 1.8% to $636.01. Silver was up 1% at 12.10 an ounce.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1230 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Weekly 1230 U.S. Philly Fed Business Indx March

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


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